MOZAMBIQUE: Manica authorities crack down on polluters of the Rovué river

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MOZAMBIQUE: Manica authorities crack down on polluters of the Rovué river©Greenseas/Shutterstock

In Mozambique Clean Tech Mining and Gem Resources, two gold mining companies in Manica, are sealed for a while. The local authorities have just suspended the operations of these two mining companies due to pollution of the Rovué river.

While they thought they were out of sight, the mining companies Clean Tech Mining and Gem Resources reportedly dumped a “significant” amount of sludge into the Rovué River, which flows into the reservoir of the Chicamba Dam which provides water and electricity in Manica province, Mozambique. According to Octávio Semba, a mining inspector from the provincial infrastructure services, the actions, described as “deliberate”, were carried out a week ago in the middle of the night.

The sludge dumped into the Rovué River has polluted the water, significantly impacting activities such as livestock and agriculture, the main livelihood of the people of Manica province. Octávio Semba says that the companies Clean Tech Mining and Gem Resources, which mine gold in the province, could have their licences revoked.

With these two cases, the total number of mining companies that have been suspended for damaging the environment in Manica since 2017 rises to six. The attraction for Manica is that the province has rich mineral resources. It is also home to numerous gold and bauxite mines operated by Mozambican and foreign companies, as well as many artisanal miners.

The Rovué river is not the only one polluted by mining companies in Manica. However, measures taken years ago have improved the quality of several of the province’s rivers, including Chimeza, Lucite, Nhancuarara, Zambuzi and Pungué, which were once devastated by mining.

Inès Magoum

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