Last update:
2014-04-08

Chrome-rich Great Dyke Area, Zimbabwe

Description:

Most of Zimbabwes ferrochrome deposits lie in the Great Dyke, a mountain range that runs the length of the country, rich in ferrochrome, platinum and gold deposits. Zimasco company has mined ferrochrome on the Great Dyke since the early 1900s and has been owned by local businesses, Union Carbide Corp. and Rio Tinto Plc. (RIO) and was acquired by Sinosteel in 2007.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Chrome-rich Great Dyke Area, Zimbabwe
Country:Zimbabwe
State or province:Midlands
Location of conflict:Zvishavane
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Chrome, Platinum
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

In 2011 Zimbabwe extracted 1.5 million tonnes of chrome and the volume of producted was estimated to be around 3.5 million tonnes in 2012.

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Project area:12000
Level of Investment:N/A
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:1 000,000 - 1 500,000
Start of the conflict:1926
Company names or state enterprises:ZIMASCO from Zimbabwe - A big number of small scale chrome miners are involved and its subsidiary companies all over the Great Dyke
SUN HE MINE from China
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Environmental Management Agency, Rural District Councils
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environment Africa, Zimbabwe Environmental law Association, Center for Natural Resource Governance
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Air pollution, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Oil spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Militarization and increased police presence
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
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Development of alternatives:Environmental Management Agency must have prosecuting authority and their fines must be enforceable. Money paid as fines must be used for the rehabilitation of the environment.
Government must renegotiate all contracts involving chrome mining. Traditional Leaders must be consulted together with the wider community as individuals tend to be bribed thereby compromising their opinions.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Environmental Management Agency has been blamed for failing to rein in the polluting companies. Its fines are not enforceable. Police say they are not mandated to enforce EMA fines. Traditional leaders have been co opted. Even those traditional leaders who want to protect their people and environment have become helpless because, according to a local newspaper, most of these mines have entered their areas waving legal documents from big offices in Harare and without consulting chiefs, started digging up the area for chrome
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Environmental Management Act

Mines and Minerals Act

Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation Act

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Act

RURAL LAND ACT ACT 20 18

RURAL LAND OCCUPIERS ACT 20 26

CHAMBER OF MINES OF ZIMBABWE INCORPORATION (PRIVATE) ACT ACT 21 02

RURAL DISTRICT COUNCILS ACT ACT 29 13

COMMUNAL LAND ACT ACT 20 04

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Thesis
[click to view]

CHROME MINING MECHANIZATION VER 2.pdf
[click to view]

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN CHROME MINING ALONG THE GREAT DYKE: A CASE STUDY OF ZIMASCO OPERATIONS

Tendai Chakupa

Dyke Chrome Mining Mechanization: Opportunities and Dilemmas

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[click to view]

[click to view]

[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Other comments:It is also alleged that there is such lawlessness in the area to the extent that some small scale miners are exploring on the other peoples private property and when they discover chrome they start mining. This has seen a rise in mining related conflicts and violence.
Meta information
Contributor:Farai Maguwu
Last update08/04/2014
Comments
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