ZMF commends $1m grant to small-scale miners

The Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation has commended the European Union for releasing a $1m grant aimed at training small-scale and artisanal miners, saying the fund will go a long way to unlocking the country’s vast mineral wealth.

“The EU grant, which we all hope will be administered well by government, should see a revolution in the mining sector and help in boosting the economy.” – Dosman Mangisi.
“The EU grant, which we all hope will be administered well by government, should see a revolution in the mining sector and help in boosting the economy.” – Dosman Mangisi.

The EU grant, which was confirmed by deputy mines minister Fred Moyo in the city over the weekend, is meant to help equip over 40,000 small-scale miners registered across the country with skills and technical expertise in gold mining.

About 200,000 other artisanal miners, popularly known as Makorokoza, are expected to be formally registered before also undergoing training.

Health and safety, drilling, blasting and mining engineering will covered in the training and the centres. A pilot centre has been earmarked for Zhombe.

Dosman Mangisi, the ZMF spokesperson, said the EU grant would see a long-term boost for gold volumes.

“The gesture that has been made by the European Union is worth praising. It is a clear indication that the bloc is willing to partner with Zimbabwe in areas that enhance standards of living for ordinary citizens,” he said.

“The $1m grant will definitely see a major boost in the gold output of the country besides improving lives of people who are not formally employed but have the desire to pursue mining.”

He added that the grant would also result in fewer accidents and prevalence of diseases such as TB, because miners would have learned about awareness and prevention.

In 2002, when the nation started plunging into a serious economic crisis, scores of people went into informal mining. In the same year, they contributed 50 per cent of total gold produced in the country.

In 2004, however, when the government launched an operation against the illegal miners, code-named Chikorokoza Chapera, contributions by the sector declined to just below 20 per cent.

“History shows that if the people willing to venture into mining but struggling to do are given the capacity, Zimbabwe can become one of the highest rated gold producing countries,” said Mangisi. “The EU grant, which we all hope will be administered well by government, should see a revolution in the mining sector and help in boosting the economy.”

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