The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporters
SMALL-SCALE MINERS in the country’s eight rural provinces will receive funds to capacitate them after a training programme meant to promote sustainable mining.
The training will also ensure they see the need to formalise their operations.
The Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, last week launched the Small-Scale Miners Training Programme in Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South provinces.
The exercise, which is meant to help artisanal miners to adopt sustainable and safe mining practices, will run until March 1.
In a statement last week, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Permanent Secretary Mr Pfungwa Kunaka said loans will be available for eligible miners after the training.
“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,” said Mr Kunaka.
“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 Government, he added, will deploy inspectors to ensure that all small-scale miners comply with the law.
“Please be reminded that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development 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.”
Artisanal miners in Masvingo and Mashonaland Central are scheduled to receive training from February 12 to 16, while Mashonaland East and Midlands will have their programmes from February 19 to 23.
Training will also be held in Manicaland from February 29 to March 1, whilst miners in Matabeleland North will take part in the programme from February 26 to March 1.
Matabeleland South and Mashonaland West had the programme from February 5 to 9.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya told The Sunday Mail that participants in the Government’s training and awareness programme will qualify for multiple benefits.
“Registered miners will have access to various benefits, including legal recognition, improved access to markets and financing and enhanced safety and welfare measures.
“This move will create a more transparent and accountable mining sector, fostering a conducive environment for growth and investment,” she said.
“Access to modern and efficient mining equipment is crucial for improving productivity, reducing operational costs and ensuring safer working conditions. By providing financial support through the loan fund, the Government is empowering artisanal miners to upgrade their operations and adopt more sustainable and efficient mining practices.”
Statistics from Fidelity Gold Refinery show that, of the 30,1 tonnes delivered last year, small-scale miners contributed 18,7 tonnes, compared to 11,4 tonnes from large-scale miners.