THE Environmental Management Agency (Ema) in Mashonaland East province has shut down two lithium mines in Goromonzi district for allegedly operating without environmental impact assessment (EIA) certificates.
The companies are TN Gold and Shengxiang Mining Investments.TN Gold was fined $500 000, while Shengxiang Mining was ordered to pay $100 000 for lack of EIAs.
Ema provincial spokesperson Astas Mabwe yesterday confirmed the closure of the two lithium mines.
“After a public outcry on lithium and illegal mining activities in Goromonzi district, Ema carried out inspections in hotspot areas reported. Through the inspections, it was found out that a lot of individuals and companies had started lithium mining without the requisite licences. Two companies were issued with tickets and orders to stop illegal lithium mining and processing,” Mabwe said.
“The companies have since stopped operations and are in the process of applying for EIA certification from the agency. Other illegal lithium mining activities were being done by artisanal miners who run away when they see law enforcement officers. As Ema, we continue to monitor the situation and encourage prospective miners to have the necessary papers before engaging in mining activities,” he said.
Goromonzi district has seen an influx of artisanal miners searching for lithium ore since December last year.
The hunt for lithium ore has resulted in environmental degradation as massive deforestation has given rise to deep gullies in areas the mineral is being extracted.
Source: Zimbabwe Situation