A Chinese mining company, Freestone Mines has removed its mining equipment from the deforested Dangamvura Mountain in Mutare where it wants to set up a quarry stone mine.
The company was forced to withdraw the equipment from the site as enraged residents demanded that the miner stop its operations as the venture was near a residential area and water distribution pipes.
Mutare City leased its 6.5-hectare stand situated on Dangamvura Mountain to Freestone Mines.
According to a 10-year lease agreement seen by NewZimbabwe.com, Freestone Mines would pay the municipality US$7 557 in annual rentals.
However, the Mutare City deputy director of engineering services, Tonderai Sango, Friday confirmed during a full council meeting Freestone mines had violated the lease agreement by starting works without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate and approval from the city engineer.
Freestone Mines director Ruoxin Qi confirmed Monday to NewZimbabwe.com they had removed all equipment from the site in compliance with the Local Government Ministry’s directive. Qi said:
We have withdrawn all our equipment from the site to show that we are 100% following the order from the local government.
We shall be heavily involved in re-greening the city as part of the corporate social responsibility. We intend to start tree planting city-wide, starting with Dangamvura Mountain so that we restore the environment and that will also act as a shield in terms of dust prevention.
Qi added that they will use part of the quarry stones for road construction and will also deploy technology aimed at reducing the negative effects of quarry stone mining including dust, blasting noise, and vibration.
He also noted that the company intends to engage relevant stakeholders so as to ensure that they have an appreciation of the project scope.