‘- Terms of Reference – Environmental Assessment of ASM sites participating in the Digging for Equality project in Zimbabwe


Deadline 28 March 2021


IMPACT’s Digging for Equality project aims to improve security, gender equality, and women’s empowerment in the artisanal mining sectors across three countries—Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Zimbabwe. The project supports women working in the artisanal and small-scale (ASM) sector to tackle the barriers that they face with respect to achieving full gender equality.

A three-year project, which kicked off in 2020, Digging for Equality is funded by Global Affairs Canada.

The project aims to improve security, gender equality and women’s empowerment in the ASM sector through the following objectives:

  1. Support to ensuring laws, policies, regulations, and practices affecting the ASM sector serve to improve women’s security and reduce gender inequality.
  2. Capacity building, knowledge acquisition and awareness-raising aiming at increasing the economic benefits that women derive from ASM
  3. Building the capacity of women to become environmental stewards in ASM

As part of objective 3 of the project, IMPACT seeks the services of a consultant to conduct an environmental assessment at  project mines sites in Mberengwa and Zvishavane, Midlands  Zimbabwe.

The assessment will advise on existing environmental risks, impacts along the mineral value chains from prospecting to gold recovery at the mine site, unpack knowledge, attitude and perceptions (KAP) on environment issues amongst ASM communities including within a gender lens, which are usually overlooked or disregarded. A good understanding of gender dimensions in ASM will be key to successful execution of the consultancy. 

Consultancy Objective: Assessment of environmental risks and impacts along the mineral value chain and implications for women and men miners.

The environmental assessment is expected to identify environmental risks and impacts at each stage of the ASM supply chain and examine differentiated potential impacts on men and women miners and nearby communities.  Within this objective the consultant is expected to:

  • Examine ASM organization management and environmental governance, systems, and tools.
  • Map the typical mineral value chain from prospecting to gold recovery at the mine site and the roles women and men play at each stage.
  • Identify potential environmental risks and impacts in each stage of the mineral value chain and potential impacts to ecosystems services.
  • Conduct a rapid assessment of environmental capacity and knowledge gaps amongst miners and their organizations through, site observations, key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
  • Develop a mitigation plan to reduce miner’s exposure to environmental hazards. This should incorporate a technical assistance and capacity building plan targeted at empowering women to be better stewards of their environment. 

Guidance and considerations for conducting the environmental assessment

  • This is a rapid environmental assessment to identify real and potential environmental risks and impacts at mining site – it is not a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Target mine production sites for the assessment with ASM permit area will be informed by intensity of mining activities and associated environmental risk potential.
  • Assessment of ASM organizations’ environmental policies, environmental plans and site maps including environmental hotspots.
  • ASM organization management and staff responsibilities towards environmental management
  • Coordination mechanisms amongst of ASM miners, local government, and local communities on environmental issues
  • Mine site and camp sites planning, organization and waste management (shelter, water, sanitation, distance to mining activities and chemical exposure; interaction with downstream communities; fauna, flora and water bodies)
  • Systems and tools for air, soil and water quality monitoring
  • Environmental risks and impacts during these value chain stage – prospecting, mine development and extraction, mineral processing, tailings management and mine waste disposal, treatment of minerals etc.
  • Environmental risks and impacts related to services rendered to the ASM operations such as transportation, sourcing of mineral processing water, WASH, etc.

 Expected deliverables.

The report shall include the following aspects at a minimum.

  • Assessment of ASM Organizations environmental governance, capacity and gaps
  • Mapping of ASM value chain from prospecting to gold recovery and associated environmental risks and impacts specific to men and women.
  • Environmental related knowledge, attitudes and gaps especially amongst women miners.
  • Mitigation plan inclusive of technical assistance plant to strengthen capacity of women and their organizations to better environmental stewards.
  • Participate in presentation of the results of the Environmental Assessment.


  • Degree in environmental studies, mining, mineral processing and related fields
  • At least 5 years’ experience conducting environmental assessments, experience in mining an added advantage.
  • Experience working with the mining sector and artisanal and small-scale mining will be considered an asset.
  • Language skills relevant to the project area to communicate preferably Shona and English.
  • Understanding of gender dimensions in extractives, and ASM in particular
  • Candidates from the local area will be looked at favorably.
  • Excellent report writing skills.

Duration of Consultancy:

This assignment is to be implemented within 30 days Level of Effort inclusive of preparation, field visits and report writing.

Consultancy to begin April 15, 2021.

Consultancy milestones (dates to be determined at start of assignment). Each milestone of the consultancy must be approved by IMPACT before proceeding to the next stage.

  • Submission of inception report
  • Development of assessment tools, incorporating feedback from IMPACT.
  • Field visits and environmental assessments
  • Draft report submission to IMPACT
  • Final draft incorporating IMPACR feedback.

Coordination and Reporting

The consultant will coordinate field planning activities and stakeholder consultation with IMPACT implementing partners in each country. Technical Zimbabwe coordination and reporting will be with IMPACT Senior Mining and Environment Advisor.

Submission of application to procurementzw@gmail.com By 2300hrs   Sunday, March 28 2021.

Applications should include:

  • Cover letter highlighting how the applicant meets the consultancy requirements.
  • Methodology and approach to the consultancy
  • CV
  • Example of professional written report.
  • 3 professional references
  • Requested daily professional fee.

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