COAL MINING IS SET TO TAKE PLACE INSIDE HWANGE NATIONAL PARK, UNLESS LOBBYING THE GOVERNMENT IN ZIMBABWE CAN PUT A STOP – According to a local tourism operator – This will result in serious damage to Zimbabwe’s tourism and wildlife image, if Mining were to take place inside Zimbabwe’s largest National Park which is home to the country’s biggest herd of Elephant there is no doubt it would result in a dramatic loss in revenue and jobs in the tourism industry.
Information provided on line by a recognised organisation working inside the Hwange National Park provided the following – Our Rhino Monitoring team recently found some Chinese in Hwange Park – we managed to ascertain they were drilling core samples for coal. Parks arrested them and turned them over to the Police. However, they soon reappeared with a permit giving them the right to carry on in the Park with exploratory drilling. They did this without any consultation with the Area Manager and seem to feel they have a right to go wherever they like to.
We followed up on this and discovered the Government has allocated two coal mining concessions in the middle of Sinamatella and Robins!. The mining concessions are Special Grants which apparently can only be issued by the President, and both been granted to Chinese companies.
A company called SustiGlobal have subsequently sent us Stakeholders Questionnaire forms One map shows the coal mining concession SG7263 that incorporates Deteema Dam and Masuma Dam, out to a company called Afrochine Energy of the Tsingashan Group of China. We are not certain to whom else the questionnaire have been sent, and the questionnaires are not dated. The questionnaires are for an EIA for the concessions but only to cover the initial exploratory drilling and opening of roads, building camps, etc. It appears the concession was promulgated in late 2019
The other concession granted , SG 5756 to the Zimbabwe Zhongxin Coal Mining Group has also contracted SustiGlobal to do an EIA, again with an undated Stakeholders Questionnaire, and again to cover the initial exploratory drilling and opening of roads, building camps, etc. However, they have started exploratory work in the Park, so it is not sure if an EIA permit has been granted or not.
Bhejane Trust has replied to the questionnaire and waits to hear back from SustiClobal. We will be ready to support National parks where required.
This information was taken from the Bhenjane Trust Face Book Page
Editor 5 VF24