The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Great Zimbabwe Mining and Exploration Drilling Company is set to roll out exploration drilling training for artisanal and small-scale miners, to ensure they sustainably mine well-defined mineral resources.
The trainings which are targeted for Matabeleland South and Midland provinces will be rolled out in March.
In an interview, the company’s managing director (MD), Mr Patrick Takaedza said there was limited exploration in Zimbabwe currently.
“There is limited exploration taking place in the country currently and certainly no meaningful exploration by local players for many varied reasons, some of which are pretty obvious like lack of the ground or rather sterilisation of the ground available for exploration through the non-issuance of EPOs.
“This has effectively left areas held by either the large corporates or by the artisanal and small-scale miners, who are our main target. So much potential mineral resources lay undiscovered in Zimbabwe. There is limited ground available, exploration technology and methodology have also improved over the years but little has been available to the artisanal and small-scale miners,” he said.
“As a company we are rolling out this training to artisanal and small-scale miners as we also support Government initiatives of increasing production, formalisation and regularisation of the mining sector in the country,” he said.
He said the artisanal and small-scale miners play a significant role in many economies, including Zimbabwe, providing livelihoods for a large number of people and contributing to local and national economies.
Mr Takaedza said by focusing on supporting on the artisanal and small-scale miners sector, they were promoting awareness on the value and benefit of exploration.
He added: “We want to assist the sector to align with the Government agenda focused on economic development, poverty reduction and sustainable resource management. By providing exploration support and resources for the artisanal and small-scale miners we are promoting inclusive growth and helping create opportunities for the generally marginalised sector and communities where they operate in.”
Mr Takaedza said apart from the positive impacts of the training, they would like to essentially take a lead in ensuring that mining activities are conducted responsibly and sustainably, taking into account environmental, social and economic considerations.
He said as a company do not only wish to assist in discovering and quantifying the country’s mineral resources but to have the mineral resources explored, developed and exploited sustainably.
“As we showcase the value or exploration there are other opportunities that include encouraging investment it will create a conducive environment for domestic and foreign investment in mineral exploration by offering further incentives and streamlining regulations,” he said.
“There is also an opportunity for public private partnerships (PPPs) where we will see collaboration between Government entities, private companies, and research institutions to facilitate exploration and quantifying efforts by combining resources, expertise and funding.”
Mr Takaedza said the country could work towards quantifying and effectively managing its mineral resources and increasing production in areas that might have been left out, which is crucial for sustainable economic development and mineral resource stewardship.