HUNDREDS of mining companies are yet to unveil their Mine Closure Plans with authorities now reminding them to abide by the mining Act of 2010 and amendments of 2017.
Making the revelation here yesterday, the Minister for Minerals, Mr Dotto Biteko said that about 190 mining companies out of 200 have not submitted their mining landscape information, detailing such activities before, during and after their mining activities in the surrounding communities.
The latest legal amendments direct mining company owners to present to the State their environmental recovery plan(s).
Expounding, the minister said the list specifically goes to large-scale mining companies operating in the country, noting: “This is a legal requirement and must be submitted before starting and shutting down operations.” Explaining, he urged small and major mining firms to observe laws and submit to the government their plan(s) that would enable the environment to recover, and not remain wasted as a result of mining operations.
The Minister said that companies must allocate sufficient funds for land reclamation at every stage of end of their business operation.
“We would not condone companies that go against the legal requirement,” he said, detailing that a lot more mining firms have so far closed their operations and left behind serious wasted environments,” further said Mr Biteko.
The minister’s remark comes during a two-day meeting that brought mining stakeholders, government experts and environmental experts together.
In the meeting, Prof Idrissa Kikula, Chairman of the Mineral Commission Board of Directors said mining companies must come together to address challenges, which face communities in their areas of operations.
He said there is a question of local content, which mining companies must develop as strategies engaging them with community members to ensure they resolve such anomalies.
In response, Geita Gold Mine Vice-President Simoni Shayo told the Minister that mining companies are aware of the act, and particularly they are practicing it to ensure the environment is protected.
“We are ready to work together to develop appropriate systems that will protect our land for future generations,” he said.