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DTZ OZGEO Gold Penhalonga, Zimbabwe


Commercial mining has been taking place in Penhalonga since the 1880s. This has been mainly underground mining which did not disrupt normal life. However, about 6 years ago a new company, DTZ OZGEO started alluvial gold mining in Penhalonga. There was land conflict after the company grabbed some plots of land which had been used to cultivate crops by the local community. There was no compensation for the lost land. Families complain of loss of livelihoods. However, more worrying is the manner in which DTZ OZGEO has polluted Mutare River which cuts across Penhalonga. The river has been shifted its course for over 10 times in the past 5 years. This has resulted in the water becoming muddy. The other problem with the DTZ OZGEO operations is the wanton duistruction of vegetation. The company has mined over an area of 4.5KM2 using open cast mining. The area is also prone to conflict between DTZ OZGEO and artisanal miners. The company, which has strong ties with state security agents, has sometimes used violence against artisanal miners. Artisanal miners also use ‘hit and run’ methods of gold panning and do not fill the galleys after digging.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:DTZ OZGEO Gold Penhalonga, Zimbabwe
State or province:Manicaland
Location of conflict:Penhalonga
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral processing
Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Gold
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Between 2007 and 2010 the company mined over 900KG of gold.

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Project area:510
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:100000
Start of the conflict:2007
Company names or state enterprises:DTZ OZGEO from Zimbabwe - a joint venture between the Development Trust of Zimbabwe and Russias OZGEO
OZGEO from Russian Federation
Development Trust of Zimbabwe from Zimbabwe
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, Environmental Management Agency
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Center for Natural Resource Governance, Penhalonga Community Development Trust
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local scientists/professionals
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
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, 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: Fires
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
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, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Development of alternatives:A moratorium to open cast mining until the community is fully consulted and is assured that the company will respect the rights of the community and the environment.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:--
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation Act

Environmental Management Act

Mines and Minerals Act

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Act

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

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF GOLD MINING IN PENHALONGA. Research Material Compiled by; G.R Chimonyo Senior Lecturer, Africa University J.V Mupfumi, Centre for Research and Development (attached)

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Meta information
Contributor:Farai Maguwu
Last update08/04/2014
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