A new player in the mining industry in Chegutu District, of Mashonaland West Province, Bravura Zimbabwe, has undertaken to employ 90 percent of its workforce from locals. The commitment from the company was made during a meeting on Thursday with stakeholders represented by Government departments in Mashonaland West, traditional leaders, among them Chief Chivero, rural district council officials and local villagers.
The meeting was part of a report back on an Environmental Impact Assessment study. Bravura Zimbabwe has been exploring for platinum group metals in the Seruwe (Selous) area of Chegutu, where in 2011 an estimated economically viable resource of 18 million ounces of platinum was identified.
In 2019 the mining company signed a platinum mining project agreement with the Government at a function presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. At last week’s meeting, Bravura Zimbabwe officials outlined their vision, saying that they planned to allocate 90 percent of the workforce they will employ to locals. A company representative then encouraged parents to send their children to higher learning institutions so that they acquire skills in the mining sector so that the company would not have to resort to importation of critical skills from abroad.
However, councillors present at the meeting highlighted that there should be a proper and clear policy on employment in order to avoid misunderstandings in future. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) meeting was to establish the environment under which Bravura Zimbabwe is going to operate, how the project will benefit the communities, as well as determine if there are any negative impacts on the environment and community, and how this is likely to affect them. The EIA was also meant to look at the positive impacts of the project as well.
The mining company has been in the district for the past three years during which it has been undertaking exploration. The exploration area covers approximately 3,000 hectares of land. The representatives stated that the mine will employ 100 percent underground mining methods and that there will be three portals, although initially staring with one portal.
They highlighted that all equipment will be available by January 2024, adding on that during the first year they will be opening up the ground. They are expecting to have reached the platinum belt by the second year and targeting 120 000 tonnes of Platinum Group Metals (PGM) – that is platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium and osmium – to be produced a month once full mining production commences.
PGM are used as oxidation catalyst in catalytic converters to treat vehicle exhaust emissions. Mine representatives said they planned on constructing a health facility for workers, but would benefit the communities around the project. They will build staff houses, a training centre, as well as ablution facilities. The company said it does not envisage any relocation of communities around the project, but that from time to time they would be notified if the mine is undertaking any blasting activities.
Asked how they are going to deal with rock dumps, which have become a concern in mining areas of Chegutu District, the company said they plan on rehabilitating any mine workings and would reclaim the areas, planting vegetation in order to rehabilitate the environment. Communities were concerned about the potential loss of grazing pastures. Councillor Muleya from Ward 13 said communities were disheartened by operations of some
mining companies that have failed to compensate farmers, leaving them stranded.
Stakeholders were advised to keep records and written agreements in case of relocations and compensation agreements, so that mining companies would be held accountable. Alderman Charakatenda, who is councillor for Ward 12, called for more investors, but urged Bravura Zimbabwe not to leave communities in the lurch, as other companies have done.
Source New Ziana