The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) continues to scout for partners in a bid to bridge the mechanisation gap that has dogged the small scale mining sector with 25 mining sector equipment suppliers signing agreements meant to expedite miners’ capacitation.
The corporation agreements were signed last Thursday between individual suppliers and ZMF amid a call from the later for partners to consider coming up with tailor-made products and or payment modalities that cater for the circumstances of the small scale sector.
ZMF is the umbrella body that represents small scale miners whose number runs into hundreds of thousands and account for more than half of the country’s gold deliveries to state buying entity — Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR).
However, their quest to maximise production and play the expected role towards the attainment of the US$12 billion mining sector milestone continues to be hampered by reliance on rudimentary mining methods due to lack of mechanisation capacity.
It is against this background that ZMF is accelerating corporation synergies with suppliers in a bid to bridge this gap.
The suppliers who attended the Thursday meeting were drawn from various sectors among them those in mining chemicals, protective equipment, logistics, engineering, insurance, explosives and electricals.
Addressing the suppliers, ZMF president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, said they envisage a situation where the suppliers even join the federation and have a platform where they meet the miners regularly and thus work together to come up with workable interventions.
Ms Rushwaya said it made no sense that the companies continue to miss expansion opportunities while at the same time seating on equipment that if released under properly crafted modalities, have potential for a return on investment.
The end result of the failure to come up with workable solutions, Ms Rushwaya said, is that the suppliers are losing on potential business and miners are also losing on potential revenue thus the economy is the ultimate loser.
“We have a Government that has opened up the mining space for locals but the sad part is that we are failing to fully utilise this space because of a lack of equipment,” Ms Rushwaya said.
“Some of our miners are failing to benefit from your goods and services because a lot of modalities around their use and terms of payment are best suited for the large scale mining sector.
“So our call is let’s sit around the table, come up with tailor made products that suit the small scale sector. We also are calling on you to join the federation so that it brings you closer to your prospective customers and we can then have regular interactions through which we can better our situation,” she said.
Some of the companies that committed to work with the miners at the meeting are Medent Safety, Econet Insurance, Sinotruck Zim, Swandick Engineering, Zimlabs, Yagden Engineering, STC Chemicals and Curechem. Herald