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Africa Geographic Travel

Shalom Mining has applied for permission to explore Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools for oil and gas, according to a recent announcement by the Zimbabwean government. The region is a designated World Heritage Site, and the application has been met with local and international condemnation.

Mining in Mana Pools
Mining operations threaten the vast and fragile ecosystem of Mana Pools and surrounding wilderness areas. Photo: Matt Parvin

In a notice in the Zimbabwe Gazette dated the 28th of April, 2023, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development revealed that Shalom Mining Corporation Private Limited (Shalom Mining) had applied to explore mining potential in the Zambezi. The exploration license – if granted – will allow the Zimbabwean company access to 130,000 hectares of wilderness habitat.

The proposed mining area falls mainly in Hurungwe Safari Area but will also include a section of Mana Pools National Park

Available information suggests that the exploration area falls mainly under Hurungwe Safari Area but will also encroach into a small section of Mana Pools National Park. The national park is part of an enormous, connected ecosystem that extends over some 1.7 million hectares and includes multiple safari areas and Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park. Farai Maguwu, the executive director of Zimbabwe’s Centre for Natural Resource Governance, has warned that mining in this region could result in an “ecological disaster”.

“It is very offensive to anyone who cares about Zimbabwe, nature, and conservation…it’s a piece of land that is of global significance…it has been recognised globally, and the government of Zimbabwe has committed itself, which means it produces reports every year on the status of conservation of that heritage site,” he said.

As per Zimbabwean law, formal objections to the application must be submitted by the 19th of May, 2023.

This news comes in the wake of the decision of the Zambian Environmental Management Agency to approve the controversial Kangaluwi open-cast copper mine in neighbouring Lower Zambezi National Park.

Take action:

  • Legal stakeholders are encouraged to submit their formal objection (outlining their involvement in the area and the likely economic impact) in writing to the Mining Affairs Board addressed as follows:

To: The Secretary
Mining Affairs Board
Private Bag 7709

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Africa Geographic Travel
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