THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development would hold weekly meetings with the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) representatives with the view to addressing challenges facing small-scale miners in the country.
The engagement outcome is set to enhance improved mining operations and assist the country towards realising the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023. Under the US$12 billion milestone target the gold sector is expected to contribute US$4 billion.
Last year, the gold sector generated US$982 million in export earnings. Despite accounting for the bulk of the yellow metal produced in the country in recent years, the small-scale mining sector’s contribution last year plummeted to 9,347 tonnes from 17,478 tonnes in 2019.
Through ZMF, the mother body of the small-scale mining operations in Zimbabwe, players in the sector have over the years been able to engage the Government on various issues that affect their operations.
It is in this context that the weekly meetings between Government and ZMF were building on such previous engagements to address the challenges that could hinder progress towards the US$12 billion mining economy target by 2023.
“Notice is hereby given that the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, and ZMF patron Honourable Winston Chitando postulated and designed weekly meetings between officials from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and ZMF to table issues and concerns affecting artisanal, small and medium scale mining operations,” reads part of a document by the ZMF secretariat to its members, seen by this publication.
The mining body said the meetings have now been scheduled to take place every Wednesday morning.
“We are kindly requesting for artisanal, small and medium scale miners to forward any issues and concerns –be it policy and legislative issues, administrative issues at provincial mining director’s offices, and institutional,” it said.
“Issues and concerns, suggestions, opinions and recommendations should be forwarded to ZMF.”
Zimbabwe’s gold production by both large and small-scale miners has in the last three years continued to decline from 33,2 tonnes achieved in 2018 to 19,052 tonnes in 2020.
The decline has been attributed to a host of reasons including, power cuts, delays in payment for deliveries, and subdued performance by producers in the sector as well as smuggling of the mineral to countries such as South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Chronicle