CHIREDZI- The Masvingo Provincial Mines directorate and other stakeholders recently visited three unregistered mining sites in Sengwe where residents and outsiders have been extracting amethyst gemstones for some time.
The Environmental Management Agency (Ema) and representatives of the Joint Operations Command (Joc) were also part of the delegation which visited the area.
Sources said the miners were making a lot of money by selling the mineral on the informal market thereby prejudicing the State of much-needed revenue.
The sources said the miners where damaging the environment and endangering local people and their livestock by digging deep trenches which they do not bother to cover.
“These miners have just been digging pits which are now putting people and livestock’s lives in danger. As is the case in every other informal mining area, the environment is suffering because the miners do not act responsibly,” said one source.
One of the delegates who visited the sites revealed that that government was moving with speed to take control of the area and regularise operations.
“Mines monitors are observing the sites right now and miners are complying with the ministry to appoint a proper mining manager. The ministry is also trying to find a way to make the miners submit to government by the end of September part of the returns they have made so far,” said the source.