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Two rivers of the magnificent Mana Pools, a 6000sq km World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe, are under mining threat. A shelf company of Geo Associates Pvt Ltd, Habbard Investments (Pvt) Ltd, was given two special grants by the Department of Mines on 9 September 2011 to explore for in the Ruckomechi and Chewore Rivers. In July of this year the company announced intentions to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Naturally, environmental authorities reacted strongly, as it’s difficult to achieve World Heritage Site status and it’s important to preserve any region’s natural beauty and resources as much as possible. The Zambezi Society, a non-profit conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the wildlife and resources of the Zambezi River, had the following to say: ‘We as the Zambezi Society are aware of the proposed mine and have contacted the company proposing this mine to inform us of exactly what it is they intend to do and how.’

Click here to read their full statement.

The statement further highlighted the intentions of Geo Associates.

‘According to Mr. Chimbodza, CEO of Geo Associates, the Zambezi valley was chosen due to its richness in Heavy Mineral Sand Deposits (HMSD). He says that this will be the first mining of this kind in Zimbabwe. The company also presently mines gold, industrial minerals etc. in different parts of the country. The Zambezi valley is the most abundant area in terms of HMSD and this is where they intend to mine.’

The Impact Assessment Consultancy (IMPACO) was chosen to do the environmental assessment and a Mr. Itayi from the company stated that ‘the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest importance, not only to Zimbabweans but to the international community as a whole’.

A campaign entitled, Save Mana Pools was created shortly after these events. According to a report on Tourism Update, Alan Dryden, spokesman for Save Mana Pools, said the following: ‘Mana is not for mining. 
We have drawn a line in the sand. This opencast form of mining has been 
notoriously destructive in other natural areas worldwide and, if permitted, 
would irreparably scar the World Heritage Site and destroy the wildlife and 
ecological resources that belong to all indigenous Zimbabweans.’

He says 
Mana Pools will be worth much more as a tourism employer and a pristine 
wilderness in 20 years than it will be as ‘a scarred and ecologically 
deserted ruin’.

Join in the conversation by connecting with Save Mana Pools on Facebook.

Zambezi Society requested that any individuals or organisations wanting to join forces to protect Mana Pools should contact them on or

More reports can by found on The Zimbabwe Independent and The Zambezi Safari and Travel Company.

Tell us what you think by posting your comments below.


*Image courtesy of Mana Pools

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  • Inge

    Absolutely shameful! Unfortunately money is the God that drives all this, and I fear nothing can dissuade the developers from pursuing their plans. God help Mana Pools if the Chinese get within 100 milers of it! There will be no more animals left, especially elephants or rhinos.

  • David Powell

    I have visited Mana pools three times in the last year because it is such a special place – not an easy journey from the South of England.
    Any mining/natural resource removal would destroy it for ever and must NOT be alowed to happen.

    I am not optimistic however as the Chinese have a special status, just look at the permanent camps they are constructing on the banks of the Zambezi in an area where NO building is permitted.

    Visit while you still can before it is destroyed for ever


    This is a sacred place of beauty that must be left as is for future generations to enjoy and experience. Mining this would just be short term gain and then Mana would be gone forever.