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Matabeleland presents vast mining opportunities

MINERS have been urged to utilise mining opportunities present in the Matabeleland region and complement the country’s target to turn the mining sector into a US$12 billion industry by 2030.

In an interview, Tandem Mining Consultants director and head of information and publicity department, Mr Leeroy Ncube said as an organisation that seeks to empower miners with equipment and knowledge on mining, they were also carrying out training workshops to encourage miners to utilise mining opportunities in Matabeleland.

“Matabeleland is not only rich in gold but other minerals such as manganese, chrome, diamonds and platinum. The various training workshops we are carrying out are to empower men and women miners to say they can engage in professional mining here in Matabeleland for the growth and development of our nation,” said Mr Ncube.

He said in assay tests they carried they discovered high rich and assayed gold mines in areas such as Esigodini and Filabusi where one could get eight grammes per tonne. In areas like Inyathi, Mr Ncube said miners could get 15 grammes per tonne and close to seven grammes per tonne in Gwanda. He said as an organisation that also carries out mine registration, pegging and geological exploration, they were assisting miners get mines of a size of 10 hectares for various minerals they you want to pursue. Mr Ncube, however, said miners were also facing various challenges.

“Miners continue to face many challenges just to name a few, a lot of miners do have licenses and rights to mine but they are financially constrained. They do not have money to start mining and hence many need sponsors. Others do not have the collateral needed by banks for them to be able to access loans to kick start their projects.”

He said most miners also had no knowledge on mining and that was a cause for concern which was delaying miners from getting the intended results. Mr Ncube said most miners have mines which they were just holding and doing nothing, hence soon such people would stand to lose as Government could revoke such mines which are lying idle.

He encouraged miners to get all their mining papers in place, utilise their mines and acquire more mining knowledge through attending training programmes and workshops that have to do with mining.

“Miners should also accelerate skills development and professionalism among budding miners. As most miners who lack skills are injured, trapped or die when mining shafts they are working in collapse. Lack of skills remains a major impediment to the desired growth of the mining industry, which is one of Zimbabwe’s key export sectors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Government has since successfully repossessed more than 80 mining concessions under the “use-it or lose-it” policy, with a formal announcement to be made in due course. Last year, the Government announced that it was also looking forward to re-sizing some of the concessions with huge resource base and inordinate life spans and allocate them to potential investors.

In the past, it was noted that some prospective investors awarded the Special Grants (SG) in different mining sub-sectors of the economy were holding onto the claims for speculative purposes.

This was retrogressive as Zimbabwe was being deprived of its potential to exploit its vast mineral resource base.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando is on record stating that under the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra, those repossessed assets will be reallocated to potential investors who really want them for productive purpose in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) Agenda.

Through the Mines and Minerals Act, the Government is empowered to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets.

The regulation seeks to promote investment, job creation and ensuring broader access to mining assets by allowing those ready to mine to file claims and obtain concessions.

Under this exercise, small claims are consolidated to make viable mining concessions that are then allocated to genuine investors willing to start mining operations. Sunday News

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