|Overview : |
The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would like to ensure that small-scale miners (SSMs) currently mining in small-scale mining hotspots comply with the requirements of the Environmental Management Act (EMA) No. 7 of 2007, along with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations No. 30 of 2012. These regulatory frameworks require EIAs to be conducted for mining and quarrying activities, given their potential negative environmental impacts. At the moment, two of the mining small-scale mining hotspots: Otjimboyo and Omapyu are operating without Environmental Management Plans (EMPs). However, as a requirement of the EMA, mining operations require Environmental Clearance Certificates (ECC) from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) under the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT).
Each of the sites encompass several mining claims, owned and operated by different individual persons and/ or groups, from which a range of semi-precious stones such as tourmaline, smoky quartz, beryl, amethyst, prehnite, rock crystals and Schorl are extracted. Presently, mining and extraction of these gemstones is predominantly done in a semi-mechanized manner, involving removal of overburden with excavators, bulldozers and loaders, provided by middlemen, and subsequent manual digging of the targeted gemstones.
MME has recognized the need to enhance the quality of life for the artisanal and small-scale miners working outside of formal legal and economic systems, to help them transition to the formal system and to enhance the contribution of the mining sector to sustainable development. As such, the MME with funding from the UNDP-SEPA Environmental Governance for Natural Resources Management Programme will be facilitating the development of EMPs for the four sites.
Against the above background, MME requires the services of a consultant to conduct a collective scoping study for the two small-scale mining hotspots identified aboveThe