The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Government is set to avail equipment for small-scale miners to capacitate them for their operations, a development that will ensure they maximise on their potential and production.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is currently rolling out a 5-day training programme for small-scale miners around the country that began on Monday in Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces. It is aimed at improving their skills, promote safety, increase production and formalise their operations.
In a statement, the Ministry said in addition to capacitation for small-scale miners, equipment will also be availed to them.
”On 14 January 2024, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Zhemu Soda issued a precautionary statement for mining activities during the rainy seasons which also included the launching of a training programme for artisanal miners around the country.
“These capacitation programmes have started as indicated by the Minister as they take place in all the eight mining provinces. The awareness campaigns will also cover issues to do with formalisation of mining operations, with focus on unregistered miners who are expected to formally register their mines,” read part of the statement.
“Further to that miners are being encouraged to join associations of their choice for purposes of networking and knowledge sharing. In addition to capacitation for small-scale miners, very soon, equipment will be availed through the Mining Industry Loan Fund in the various Provincial mines workshops.”
The Ministry said its inspectors shall be out in full force to ensure that there is compliance with all governance requirements failure of which statutory punishment will be imposed.
In Matabeleland South, the programme is being rolled out in Filabusi, Esigodini, Matopo, Maphisa, Umzingwane, Shangani, Mangwe and Gwanda. Running on the same days are districts in Mashonaland West such as Mhangura, Chegutu, Chikuti and Kadoma.
Next week, from 12 to 16 February the programme will be carried out in Masvingo’s Gutu, Mashava, Stop Over and Ngundu as well as in Mashonaland Central’s Guruve, Mt Darwin, Shamva, Mazowe, Chiweshe and Christon Bank.
In the Midlands Province the programme will be rolled out in Shurugwi, Mberengwa, Kwekwe, Zvishavane, Silobela, Zhombe and Gokwe from 19 to 23 February. On the same dates, in Mashonaland East Province the programme will be held in Makaha, Kotwa, UMP, Goromonzi and Mutoko.
“To wrap up the programme from 26 February to 01 March it will be rolled out in Matabeleland North Province in Inyathi and Bubi as well as in Manicaland Province in Chimanimani, Nyanga, Penhalonga, Odzi, Buhera and Headlands.
Artisanal and small-scale miners contribute about 60 percent of the country’s gold output, as gold is one of Zimbabwe’s largest foreign currency earners.