THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has called for full utilisation of mining claims in the country so as to increase export earnings and widen job opportunities for the youth.
ZMF vice president, Mr Marufu Sithole, who was speaking during a recent Youth Miners Association workshop in Gweru, said unlocking the value of disused mining claims was critical for the economy.
The workshop was organised to empower young miners with key information require for one to venture into successful mining operations and tackling inherent bottlenecks.
“Artisanal and small-scale miners have been for years marginalised and yet Zimbabwe has over the years been faced with a high rate of youth unemployment,” said Mr Marufu.
“Young people represent the opportunity to grow in directions never envisaged and to move the mining industry forward.
“The youth also play a pivotal role in Zimbabwe and contribute by any means necessary in nation building and defending the source of our heritage, in this case, our precious minerals. We endeavour to see all our youth and all other like-minded people equipped with skills in mining and claims towards poverty reduction.”
Mr Marufu said ZMF now has a secretariat for the youth to enhance their representative as part of measures to mainstream their participation in mining. He also called for adoption of evidence-based approaches that assist the mining sector to achieve inclusivity through scaling up capacity building initiatives.
“We would also like to share evidence-based approaches for action partnering between public and private sectors to revolutionise mining service delivery in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Marufu.
“We continue appealing to the Government to put efforts to assist artisanal and small-scale miners with mining equipment and other mining consumables as they play a key role in alleviating poverty in the country.”
He said ZMF was geared to empower the youth in adapting latest technologies and facilitating loans for capitalisation that enhance output from the mining sector and paid tribute to the Gweru Youth Miners Association for organising the forum.
Mr Marufu urged more youths to set up mining ventures and continue formalising their mining operations by applying from licensing from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
Gweru Youths Miners Association secretary general, Mr Edgar Benjamin, said the association was keen to work with all youths in mining to contribute to the economy.
“We need to change the mindset of the chikorokoza/isikorokoza and turn the youths into professional Miners.
“We are also advocating for a mining college for the artisanal in the Midlands, which is affordable for our youths. Our role is to give as much education as possible about mining activities around us,” he said. Chronicle