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Zimbabwe: More National Parks Under Siege From Mining Companies

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A local environmental advocacy group has raised alarm over other national parks under threat from mining activities saying the titles to claims in Chimanimani, Chizarira and Sinamatela part of Hwange National park should also be cancelled.

This followed government’s move to cancel coal mining titles awarded to two Chinese companies to extract coal inside Hwange National Park after a social media outcry.

In a statement yesterday, Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) called for all companies that were conducting mining activities within national parks to be guided by the government directive.

“CNRG has established that there are more companies holding mining titles in the National Parks. These include Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation in Hwange National Park – Sinamatela area, Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Company and Rusununguko Pvt Limited in Chimanimani National Park, Lagerty Investments in Chizarira National Park.

“There is also a yet to be ascertained company that is already mining gold at Umfurudzi Park. We pray that all these mining titles and others which are unknown to the public will indeed be cancelled,” reads the statement.

CNRG also expressed fear that the application for mining licenses within national parks could be one of the many ways being used to camouflage poaching.

“There is a huge danger that some of the so-called mining companies applying to mine in national parks are organised crime syndicates seeking to abuse mining licences in order to conduct poaching.

“Mining resources are finite and prioritising their extraction at the expense of a more stable and eco-friendly sector with a huge potential for growth is self-defeating both in the short and long term,” the organisation highlighted.

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