The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
LEADING gold miner, How Mine, a subsidiary of Bulawayo Mining Company (BMC) has attributed its gold output increase to their implementation of internationally recognised management systems.
How Mine, which set new mining and milling production records in the year 2021, saw its gold output increased by 59 percent compared to the previous year.
The improved performance was also on the back of a capital injection of US$5 million for the shaft sinking project, which opened up new mining areas. The project was commissioned in the last quarter of the year 2020.
Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) director general Dr Eve Christine Gadzikwa commended the company for the great work it was doing and its efforts to attain certification.
“Through diligent efforts and significant investment BMC has rightfully attained certification to three systems.
This important milestone underlines the determination and commitment of management and staff in safeguarding the health and safety of staff, stakeholders and protecting the environment,” said Dr Gadzikwa as she delivered a speech as the guest of honour at the Bulawayo Mining Company Re-certification handover ceremony in Bulawayo on Friday.
She said the company’s integration of management systems ISO 45001-2018 Occupation Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSAS), ISO 14001-2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and ISO 9001-2015 Quality Management Systems (QMS) was a notable achievement.
Dr Gadzikwa said with the ever-changing legal and safety requirements impinging on corporates today, it made good business sense to ensure that an organisation implements international standards to support every aspect of its business.
“These certifications are important pillars to attaining resilience and long-term value to the company and stakeholders.
I would like to express my gratitude to BMC for showing resilience and determination to be certified during this coronavirus pandemic period when other companies are waiting for the right time that might not come any time soon. The three certificates you are being presented with today are accepted worldwide,” she added.
She said companies were encouraged to continue setting high standards all round and to put their families, staff, customers and supply chains first. Dr Gadzikwa said during the pandemic quality must remain consistent across the entire organisation.
BMC managing director Mr Kimbton Chiota said their business had reached some of the highest principles expected of businesses in the modern world.
“It means that, today, BMC is committing itself to the highest standards in its operations and in its service to the community, and to our country.
How Mine’s journey on compliance to globally accepted ISO Standards began 15 years ago. Allow me to also express my gratitude to the Business Excellence Management System (BEMS) champions for the job well done. They are the bridge between SHEQ, management and workers.
They make sure that management systems are understood and implemented at all levels of the organization,” said Mr Chiota.
He said the mine started with the implementation of the ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System (EMS), which was a commitment to the highest standards in managing and protecting the environment.
Mr Chiota said the safety of their workers and the community was high on their agenda, with implementation of other ISO leading to certification in the year 2012.
He said they also implemented the globally renowned Behaviour Based Safety programme (BBS) and as a result, they saw a massive drop in annual injury numbers by 60 percent.
“It is a significant drop. However, for us, it was not good enough. Certification to OHSAS 18001 improved our safety awareness training and emergency even more. The results have been positive. The accident frequency further decreased by another 33 percent,” he added.
Mr Chiota said with gold output increased by 59 percent in 2021, they were aiming higher for 2022 with the mine currently carrying out exploration, both on surface and underground, in order to open up the resource base for expansion.
“We remain focused on contributing towards the Government’s target of a US$12 billion mining industry by the year 2023. Let me end by applauding the BMC team for a recently achieved milestone of three consecutive accident-free months.”