JESSIE Mine, located just over 150km along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway has scored a first in Matabeleland South province by pioneering a million-dollar project of lining its slimes dam in line with effluent and solid waste disposal regulations to ensure there is no seepage and contamination of underground and surface water resources.
Mine manager Gideon Ncube said they were excited about the project, which would go a long way in preserving the environment.
“We are excited to be pioneers of this project in line with Statutory Instrument 6 of 2007, it will help preserve the environment,” he said.
“We have completed only a quarter of the project.
“Gold prices are low nowadays and with good prices we will be able to complete the project.”
Matabeleland South provincial Environmental Management Agency education and publicity officer Sithembokuhle Moyo said Jessie Mine should be an inspiration to other small-to-medium-scale miners, as they have shown that lining of slimes is possible.
“Many miners have not complied with the statutory instrument that clearly states that no person shall dispose general waste or hazardous waste at any other place except in a licensed general landfill. However, Jessie Mine has taken a huge step in showcasing that this can be done,” she said.
“Mining that is not regulated tends to maximise profits at the expense of the environment.”
In complying with the statutory instrument, the mine submitted lining proposals to the agency.
While they were working on the new lining paperwork, no work was being done on the ground, which is in accordance with the regulations.
EMA’s provincial quality technician Samson Nyimai said boreholes had been sunk around the dam and the agency would be conducting periodical tests to determine the quality of ground water.
Nyimai said the seepage and contamination of underground water would prove costly, as it was not easy to purify such water and was detrimental to both humans and animals.
The lining construction works are being done by Blonton Management consultants.