Based on the community characteristics and nature of the project, different methodologies were used for stakeholder consultation. Where possible and within the


Maximum Permissible Concentration of Selected

Chemicals in mg/L in Wastewater

Chemical Constituent

Zone 1*

Zone 2**







Cyanide and other related compounds















Total heavy metals



* Zone I: Catchment areas in Zimbabwe’s Agro-ecological Region 1 **Zone 2: Catchment areas in Zimbabwe’s Agro-ecological Regions 2-5

required statutory frameworks (refer to the Environmental Management Act of 1997), it is also desirable to structure the process in such a way that it would address the needs and interests of the stakeholders. With regard to the EIA for this gold-panning project, the following public consultation techniques were used:

i. Meetings

ii. Public notices

iii. E-mails

iv. Telephone calls

The consultant worked very closely with the ZINWA, Sanyati Catchment Committee, and Rural District Council to develop an appropriate program of stakeholder involvement in the Munyati-Muzvezve confluence area. Consultative meetings were held with the D.A to determine the most suitable method of stakeholder engagement. The D.A and Sanyati Rural District Council suggested having multiple community meetings, each at separate places, in order to increase the participation rate. This course was not taken due to time constraints and other alternative approaches.

Phase 1: Identification of Stakeholders

In the first phase of the engagement process, an initial meeting was held with the various key stakeholders and potential partners. At this meeting, the different milestones for the project were discussed and relevant stakeholders identified. The impact and importance of the support of the community chiefs were discussed, and the project was introduced to the D.A’s office and the EMA.

The aim of the project and the EIA was explained, and major issues of concern were obtained. The importance of community involvement was explained and recommendations were made by the D.A.

Phase 2: Stakeholder Meetings and Public Meetings

The second phase of stakeholder engagement was through stakeholder and public meetings. The stakeholder meeting was not held, but the chiefs had to address their communities. During the meetings with I & APs:

i. The project phase was introduced

ii. Up-to-date summary and findings were presented

iii. A discussion was held where all stakeholders were asked to raise their issues, concerns, and questions

iv. Questions were answered by the client and the consultant

v. All issues were documented


Public consultations were undertaken in order to capture concerns of the public and other stakeholders who may directly or indirectly be affected by gold-panning and processing activities at the confluence area. This is cognizant of the fact that mining operations and associated activities frequently involve a high degree of environmental disturbance, which can extend beyond the extent of mined areas. The negative impacts of panning can be experienced in the vicinity of the project and far downstream.

Summary of the Stakeholders Perceptions

Generally, the project was accepted and appreciated by all stakeholders due to the various benefits it would bring to the community. The main concern was the restoration of the area and avoiding erosion and siltation in the riverbed. ZINWA and the Catchment Committee’s main worries were about water resources management and preservation. The proponent should ensure that the water quality is not compromised and a license is legally obtained.

Objectives of the Consultations

The objectives of public consultations are to:

i. Determine the sociocultural and economic context within which gold-mining and processing activities take place

ii. Ascertain the extent to which gold-panning and processing activities areas are likely to enhance or fracture local people’s realization of socioeconomic and environmental values

iii. Gather stakeholders’ views relating to perceived biophysical, environmental, economic, and social impacts arising from mining and associated activities

iv. Gather information from stakeholders regarding their perceptions of gold panning and best management practices

All the above objectives of the consultation were achieved.


This section focuses on the three specialist studies which were performed and the methods used in undertaking the EIA process. The details of the methods are included in specific sections of this report. Each specialist study was approached in a distinct and appropriate way to determine and access relevant information. Below are the approaches which were used by the specialists:

Avifauna, Fauna, and Vegetation

To carry out the avifauna, fauna, and vegetation assessment, the following steps were taken: review of literature, data collection, and information analysis. The compiled report included review of results, impact analysis, and mitigation recommendations.

Heritage Assessment

To carry out the heritage assessment, the following steps were taken: aerial photography, review of literature, and site visits. The compiled report included review of results, impact analysis, and mitigation recommendations.

Geohydrology and Geotechnical Assessment

To carry out the geohydrological and geotechnical assessment, the following steps were taken: review of literature, site visits, geological survey, geo hydrogeological survey, geotechnical survey, laboratory testing, water samples tests, soil samples tests, map drawing, and data collection and analysis. The compiled report included review of results, impact analysis, and mitigation recommendations.


Ground truthing, site scoping, characterization, and desktop research were used to determine the state of the environment in the area where the riverbed is located. The states of the environment were categorized into biophysical and socioeconomic.

Biophysical Environment


The claim is on the riverbed, and the soil has been previously disturbed by illegal gold panners. Rocks of the area belong to the granite/gneiss geology. Sometimes, alluvial gold occurs in old river banks which have been overgrown by grass and trees in the banks of the river.


Soils are sandy and shallow with depth greater or equal to 2 m.


Climate type is the tropical wet and dry, with two distinct seasons: the wet season from October to April and winter from May to September. Temperature is moderate. Prevailing winds are southeasterly.


The surrounding vegetation is largely savanna woodland interspersed with grassed drainage lines. There are no known protected tree species in the area.

Socioeconomic Environment

Mining is a critical sector in Zimbabwe’s socioeconomic development and contributes to fiscal receipts through generation of foreign currency and tax revenues. Mining and associated activities result in income multipliers arising from both direct and indirect employment. At the national level, the mining sector has direct positive impact through payment of tax revenue. Indirect positive impact arises from income taxes on employment, personal income, profits of local business, major suppliers, and purchase of goods and services.

The mine will operate three 8-hour shifts daily. A total of 100 workers, including women, will be employed at the mine. 90% of the workers will be from the local community. There is potential to increase the number of workers and local laborers as operations expand. Workers are housed on site and are provided protective clothing. Potable water will be available from an on-site borehole or from the riverbed.


The following impacts are likely to be observed and fall broadly into the following categories: geology, biophysical, and socioeconomic.

Biophysical Impacts

The biophysical impacts include:

i. Excavation leading to changes in surface soil

ii. Excavations exposing soil to heat, leading to soil sterility

iii. Excavations leading to changes in area topography

iv. Excavations leading to loss of aesthetic values of the landscape

v. Excavations leading to land instability as new soil profiles are created

vi. Gold panning removing soil-binding material, leadingtosedimentation loading

vii. Excavations resulting in soil degradation due to soil structure destruction

viii. Excavation resulting in either increased or reduced infiltration recharge

ix. Excavation process resulting in air emissions from loading and gaseous emissions from vehicles and motorized equipment

x. Excavation works resulting in soil and water contamination from fuel spills and grease/oilsxi. Waste discards at excavation sites resulting in poisoning of terrestrial/ aquatic habitat and biota

xii. Exposed sulfur-containing rocks interacting with air and water acid mine drainage.

Socioeconomic Impacts

Gold mining results in positive socioeconomic benefits, which include:

i. Gold-panning projects generate employment

ii. Gold-panning projects sustain local mineral-processing industries

iii. Gold-panning projects contribute to fiscal receipts through tax revenues

iv. Sale of gold generates foreign currency for communities and improves their quality of life

However, negative impacts can also arise, and these include:

i. Improper consultation may cause land ownership conflicts

ii. Competes with agriculture for land and labor

iii. Increased incidence of crime, prostitution, STDs, and HIV/AIDS

iv. New communities, far from formal ones, can lead to alcoholism as workers acquire disposable income

v. Excavations and lack of rehabilitation may lead to entrapment of people/ animals in mine trenches

vi. Noise nuisance from heavy machinery may disturb the community

vii. For workers, respiratory diseases may be caused by working in dusty conditions

The summary of the general potential impacts is shown in Table 5.3.


Mitigation seeks to minimize or eliminate negative impacts and enhance and maximize positive impacts on people and the environment. Impacts are assessed in terms of their significance to the environment with or without mitigation measures (Kumah, 2006). Significance is a limiting factor in formulating mitigation measures and environmental management plans.


Environmental aspects: impacts that arise when proposed project activities interact with the surrounding biophysical, social, and economic environment.

Significance: importance of the short-term and long-term changes to the receiving environment. Impacts could be positive or negative. Significance


The General Potential Environmental Impacts from Gold Panning

Mining Phase

Exploration and



Geochemical, geophysical, and airborne surveys Exploration camp housing

Vehicle and machinery parks, fuel points, and

service bays

Access road construction

Waste disposal (garbage)

Camp sanitation systems

Mine development start-up; sourcing and stockpiling of raw materials

Mine construction

Stripping/storing of soil overburden Surveying and leveling of sites for buildings and plant

Installation of mine and surface water treatment plants

Construction of mine facilities, offices, and roads

Construction of storage facilities Landscaping of site

Fauna and flora habitat loss and disturbance

Reduction in biodiversity on site

Potential loss of heritage sites Decreased aesthetic appeal of site Altered landforms due to construction Altered drainage patterns and runoff flows Increased erosion of site area

Increased siltation of surface waters

Contamination of surface and groundwater by seepage and effluent discharges

Increased demand on local water resources Seepage/discharge of acid rock drainage Ground and surface water contamination from seepage and radionuclides site

Construction of staff housing, infrastructure, and recreational facilities

Potential Environmental Impacts

Vegetation removal, damage, and destruction

Habitat disturbance due to noise/ vibration

Disturbance to wildlife and local residents

Soil erosion along trenches and transects

Demand on local water resources

Discharge or spillage of contaminants

Contamination of local groundwater by exposed ores

Restricted public access

Fauna and flora habitat loss and disturbance

Reduction in biodiversity on site Potential loss of heritage sites Decreased aesthetic appeal of site Altered landforms due to construction

Altered drainage patterns and runoff flows

Increased erosion of site area

Increased siltation of surface waters Contamination of surface and groundwater by seepage and effluent discharges

Discharge of contaminants via mine dewatering activities

Increased demand on local water


Seepage/discharge of acid rock drainage

Ground and surface water contamination from seepage and radionuclides

Contamination from fuel spills and leakages

Increased demand for electrical power



The General Potential Environmental Impacts from Gold Panning

Mining Phase


Potential Environmental Impacts

Removal and

Stripping/storing of soil overburden

Land alienation from waste rock

storage of ores

Waste rock stockpiles


and waste

Low-grade ore stockpiles

and disposal areas


High-grade ore stockpiles

Disturbance from vehicle and machiner}'

noise and site illumination

Acceleration of acid rock drainage through

exposure of ores to air and water

Increased erosion and siltation of nearby

surface water bodies (rivers and lakes) Contamination of local groundwater


Agitating ore to release mineral

Ground surface disturbance

separation of

Transport of ore to separator

Disturbance due to noise and

gold from ore

Extraction and preliminary separation


Dust and fumes from mine vehicles and transportation systems Discharge of contaminated water Windborne dust and radionuclides Metal vapor emissions from smelters


Replenishment of refinery plant processes/solutions Stockpiling of waste and final product

Discharge of contaminants to air, including heavy metals, organics, and SO,

Spillage of corrosive liquids Requirement for electrical power

Transport of

Packaging/loading of final product into

Disturbance due to noise, vibration,

final product to markets


and site illumination

Dust and fumes from exposed product stockpiles

Mine closure

Decommissioning of roads

Subsidence, slumping, and flooding


Dismantling buildings

of previously mined areas


Reseeding/planting of disturbed areas

Acid rock drainage from exposed


Re-contouring pit



walls/waste dumps

Continuing discharge of


Water quality treatment Fencing dangerous areas Monitoring of seepage

contaminants to ground and surface water via seepage

Fauna and flora habitat loss and disturbance

Windborne dust, including radionuclides

Dangerous areas that pose health risks and possible loss of life (e.g. shafts, pits)

is rated on a 3-point scale namely: High (H+/H-), Medium (M+/M-), and Low (L+/L-).

Severity: is described in terms of magnitude, extent, duration, and reversibility.

Magnitude: is the absolute or relative change in size or value on an environmental factor.

Low: When absolute value or relative change is hardly noticeable 0%-10%

Medium: When absolute value or relative change is relatively noticeable 10%-39%

High: When absolute value or relative change is highly noticeable 40%-100%

Extent: The area affected by the impact in requisite unit of measurement

Small: When area affected is smaller than 50%

Large: When area affected is greater than 50%

Duration: The time over which the impact will be felt

Short: 1 year or less

Medium: 1-5 years

Long: more than 5 years

Reversibility: refers to permanency of an impact

Impacts may be reversible in several ways such as:

Reversible by natural means

Reversible by human-aided intervention at reasonable cost

Irreversible when human intervention costs are unreasonably high i.e. greater than all conceivable benefits

The criteria for severity shall be described as:

High: when all four severity characteristics - magnitude, extent, duration, and reversibility - are in the upper extreme categories.

Moderate: when at least any three of magnitude, extent, duration, and reversibility are in the medium categories.

Low: the remainder

Probability of Occurrence

The probability of occurrence refers to the probability of a particular impact occurring. This is subject to the limitations of one’s professional judgment in environmental science.

Probability in this case is described as either definite or probable.

Since in most cases it has not been possible to quantitatively calculate probability using mathematical permutations and models, only qualitative descriptions have been adopted. The potential impacts are described in Table 5.4.

The following section discusses in detail each impact identified in the EIA under the respective titles and makes recommendations for its mitigation.

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