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Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration  2014
Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration  2014
Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration  2014
Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration  2014
Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration  2014
Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration  2014
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Midlands Alternative Mining Indaba Declaration 2014

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The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) hosted the Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba between the 4th and 5th of June 2014. …

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) hosted the Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba between the 4th and 5th of June 2014.

This is the declaration that was agreed upon by the delegates. It acknowledges the progress made so far, outlines key concerns and makes a call to action that targets government, parliamentarians, Community Share Ownership Trusts and mining companies.

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  • 1. 1     1     MIDLANDS PROVINCIAL ALTERNATIVE MINING INDABA, 2014 DECLARATION BY PARTICIPANTS ADOPTED AT NICHRUT LODGE, SHURUGWU, ZIMBABWE ON THE 4TH -5TH JUNE, 2014 We, the community members from Zvishavane, Shurugwi, Mberengwa, Guruve, Mhondoro-Ngezi as well as Chiefs, Members of Parliament, Local Authorities and civil society groups, having participated at the Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba held at Nichtrut Lodge in Shurugwi District from the 4th – 5th of June 2014 under the theme “Creating Space for Community Voices on Mining”, facilitated by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA); Acknowledge; The active and momentous participation of some mining companies operating in the Great Dyke, namely ZIMPLATS and the China Zimbabwe Sunrise Group of Companies as well as government agencies such as the Environmental Management Agency, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Members of Parliament from Shurugwi, Zvishavane and Guruve and Councilors during the two day Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba, The ongoing public hearings by the Parliamentary Portifolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on the operations of Community Share Ownership Trusts established under the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme, especially those established in the Great Dyke, The economic and social contribution of some mining companies operating in the Great Dyke and their positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of some communities through employment creation, contribution to the national fiscus, infrastructural development and provision of other social services,
  • 2. 2     2     The establishment of Community Share Ownership Schemes by government as a way of promoting economic and social development in communities living near or affected by mining operations, The discussions in government circles on the need to regularize informal or artisanal mining, especially in the gold mining sector where a lot of youths are involved in the Midlands Province, Concerned about; The negative environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of some mining operations in the Great Dyke and on communities in the area, caused by some companies that are failing to respect the rights of communities and deliberately failing to comply with national laws and policies governing the mining sector and environmental management programmes, The exclusion of mining communities, particularly in the Great Dyke in the decision and policy making processes related to mining, despite the abundance and contribution of the Great Dyke region to the overall national mineral production output, Failure by some of the management structures of Community Share Ownership Schemes (CSOT) to reach out to and inform/educate the ordinary villagers and community members who are the intended beneficiaries of the CSOT’s about their operations, revenue use and distribution arrangements, projects being implemented and the attendant decision making processes, Failure by government to expeditiously reform mining laws and policies, in particular the Mines and Minerals Act, the draft Minerals Policy and the legalization/formalisation of artisanal mining given the fact that many people in the Great Dyke are involved in unlicenced gold mining operations as a source of income generation and are often arrested, harassed or looked down upon as a menace, Failure by government to address the inconsistencies and contradictions between the law, practice and public statements made by some government officials around the implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme, as this may cloud the whole programme and may hinder progress and investment in the Great Dyke, Failure by some mining companies to make a distinction between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of the mining company and projects initiated by CSOTs, including treatment of projects that are only meant to benefit the mining company as part of CSR, Having deliberated for two days on the positive and negative impacts of mining on communities and the environment, in the Great Dyke, call on the government to; Ensure that mining communities benefit from minerals resources in their areas,
  • 3. 3     3     Involve communities in the selection and appointment of persons who constitute the Board of Trustees of Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) to ensure meaningful community ownership and participation, Ensure that all mining companies in the Great Dyke that have made commitments to establish and support CSOTs fulfill their promises, Develop clear and actionable sustainability measures and procedures to guide CSOTs in designing investment projects that can ensure that some of the funds received by CSOTs are invested even in community led mining projects or other investment projects to enhance future economic viability of the whole programme, Develop a fair and just quota system on distribution of revenues from CSOT activities to ensure that communities that live closest to the mining area and that are mostly affected by the negative impacts of mining derive a significant portion of the benefits, as compared to those that are not immediately affected, although this must be underpinned by the desire to ensure as far as possible the equitably distribution of national resources, Promote the development of a leadership code in the management of CSOTs to ensure that projects do not only benefit the leaders especially some traditional leaders who have already benefitted from other government programmes (such as boreholes, cars, electricity and other services) while the majority of the people are yet to benefit, Develop clear and actionable sustainability measures and procedures to guide CSOTs in designing investment projects that can ensure that some of the funds received by CSOTs are invested even in community led mining projects or other investment projects to enhance future economic viability of the whole programme, Ensure that Mining Contracts signed by government with mining companies as well as mining licences issued by government in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act contain clear and time bound provisions on revenue transparency and accountability, payment of all taxes, environmental protection, human rights and corporate social responsibility. Swiftly legalise the operations of artisanal/informal miners (“makorokoza”), the majority of whom are operating in the Great Dyke, through a new set of mining laws and develop a system that can enhance the contribution of artisanal/informal miners to community and national socio- economic development and the fiscus, Promote the application and Implementation of the “Use it or lose it” principle in the Great Dyke, especially the gold sector to ensure that other new players especially locals can access gold mining claims especially those that have been laying idle for years,
  • 4. 4     4     Translate and simplify existing laws regulating the mining sector and the process of acquiring mining rights/licences to ensure that locals have a clear understanding of the laws and procedures as well as carrying out educational campaigns in the Great Dyke on acquisition of mining rights, Give adequate financial and technical support to small-scale miners and artisanal miners to enhance production and their contribution to the economy, Increase investment and support to women empowerment initiatives or programs to ensure that women also participate in mining activities and decision-making processes in order to uplift their lives and that of the family, Adopt and implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the extractive sector and more importantly to protect, promote and fulfill human rights in the mining sector, We also call on Parliament to; Continue engaging with their constituencies to understand emerging issues on the extraction of natural resources especially mining activities. Their Legislative roles need to be supported with strong evidence from the community members as the most affected, Ensure that they adequately represent communities without the challenges of being embroiled in conflict of interest given that the majority of them are involved in mining activities; Uphold the guiding principles of the Southern African Resource Barometer and produce regular state of the extractives reports that informs the public and assist them to play their oversight role on government, And having deliberated, call on Community Share Ownership Trust management structures to; Ensure that communities actively and meaningfully participate in designing development projects being implemented by the Community Share Ownership Schemes, Promote transparency and accountability in revenue use, distribution and management/administration of CSOTs, in particular through production and provision of annual reports, audited financial reports and progress reports by the CSOT Boards and management and publicly disclose and disseminate the information in an easily accessible manner, Embark on community level outreach and educational programmes on the operations of the CSOTs to ensure that people are aware of the projects, objectives and the management structures themselves, as well as the project selection criteria and the use of revenues,
  • 5. 5     5     Ensure that women are also appointed into the management structures of CSOTs especially in the Board of Trustees, Work closely with experts and government to develop clear and actionable sustainability measures and procedures to guide CSOTs in designing investment projects that can ensure that some of the funds received are invested even in community led mining projects or other investment projects that enhance future economic viability, Develop a fair and just quota system on distribution of revenues from CSOT activities to ensure that communities that live closest to the mining area and that are mostly affected by the negative impacts of mining derive a significant portion of the benefits, than those that are not immediately affected. We further call on mining companies to; Clearly explain to communities and the general public the difference and to separate between their CSR projects from the projects being implemented by CSOTs, Respect the rights of workers, communities and provide remedy mechanisms when violations of environmental, economic, social and cultural rights have occurred, Develop company policies that are in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and to carry out due diligence by assessing the potential impacts of their operations on community rights and mitigation measures, Adhere to the environmental laws of the country especially their Environmental Impact Assessment commitments and rehabilitate all mined out areas in the Great Dyke, Publicly disclose to communities their CSR budgets and investments projects, Register on the local stock exchange and maintain local bank accounts so that the money is not transferred to other countries, Assist small scale and artisanal gold miners and adopt a system that can enhance a win-win situation on production and marketing of minerals, Take measures to assess the viability of resuscitating some of the mineral beneficiation projects in the Great Dyke, many of which are not operating Increase and promote training of locals at the school of mines to create a pool of workers from the community so that they can also carry out technical jobs that are often given to people from other areas or countries,
  • 6. 6     6     Where possible cede some of their unused claims to CSOTs or organized artisanal/informal miners. We hereby acknowledge our commitment to the above issues and pledge to support the government of Zimbabwe, Mining Companies and the CSOTs to ensure the above-mentioned demands are met. END For more Information: No. 26B Seke Road Hatfield Harare Zimbabwe Tel: +263 4 252093 / 253381 / 250971/ 573601-3 Fax: +263 4 253381 Cell: +263 772 424 164 Web: www.zela.org info@zela.org The Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba was supported by:          

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