This is contained in a position paper issued by a group of church leaders who undertook a reality visit to Mansa aimed at meeting communities affected by illegal manganese mining.
It has been observed that during the initial stages of conducting mining activities, the stakeholders which include, mining license holders, the district commissioner, Chiefs, local authorities and host communities are not consulted by the mining companies, a situation which has created discontent among the stakeholders who are meant to be a part of the process to authorize the mining activities.
The church leaders also observed that there has been little or no proper dialogue and consultation among the key stakeholders during the initial stages of the mining projects.
“there is growing resentment from the locals towards the mining companies whom they accuse of acting irresponsibly,” the church leaders said.
The leaders added that realising that Manganese ore is currently not fetching high on the world market, the environmental damage that is being caused definitely outweighs the benefits.
They have recommended that mechanisms be put in place by government to closely monitor all mining activities in order to have clear records of how much ore is being extracted and transported which will in turn eventually address the issue of illegal mining.