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Police stop illegal lithium mining

by Staff reporter
14 Nov 2022 at 05:09hrs | Views
More than 5 000 artisanal miners and fortune seekers who had descended on Sandawana Mine in Mberengwa in search of lithium have been dispersed, amid running battles with police.

There has been chaos of late at Sandawana Mine, with more than 5 000 artisanal miners and unscrupulous dealers descending on the defunct emerald mine in search of the newly-discovered lithium.

Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Larry Mavima said Government had since intervened and stopped the illegal operations by the artisanal miners.

He said there had been some unscrupulous businesspeople who were buying the lithium from the illegal miners before exporting the mineral.

"We were informed that there was a lithium rush in Mberengwa and that's why we decided to come down to have first hand information on the goings on," he said.

"We have since stopped all the operations to allow for formal operations."

Minister Mavima said the discovery of the mineral in Mberengwa should benefit the district and the locals most.

"It's good that we continue to have these minerals, but the President has reiterated that no one should be left behind in the development drive and Mberengwa should benefit from this as a district," he said.

The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, said the formalisation of lithium mining in the area was critical as it will help achieve the national target of a US$12 billion mining economy by next year. "We as ZMF are coming up with plans to make sure that artisanal miners benefit from lithium mining at the same time making sure that Government is benefiting from this lithium mining," she said.

Meanwhile, Kuvimba Mining House has since obtained a mining tribute for Sandawana Mine and will be conducting exploration works.

Source - The Herald