Zimbabwe bans alluvial mining

Zimbabwe has banned alluvial mining near bodies of water, reports AllAfrica.com Wednesday.

The government ordered the withdrawal and cancellation of all existing permits and will issue no new permits.

An official said alluvial mining activities, particularly for gold, are seriously degrading waterways and posing a threat to water sources by toxic chemicals, such as mercury and cyanide, as well as increased accumulation of clay and silt particles.

Mining activities polluting the water ways have been blamed by local people for an increase in water-borne diseases.

Local area councils will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the government's ban.

Image: Babakathy, via Wikimedia Commons