27 small-scale miners graduate in mine rescue, first aid

Makumba Nyenje

Zimbabwe Mining Safety Health and Environmental Council (ZIMSHEC) through its efforts to achieve zero harm in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector sent 27 miners to be trained in both Mine Rescue services and first aid at Zimbabwe School of Mines with all graduating with two separate certificates.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Midlands Chairperson and ZIMSHEC Director Makumba Nyenje said Miners from different districts in Midlands and Matabeleland namely, Gwanda, Felabusi, Mberengwa, Zishavane, Bubi were issued with First Aid and Mine Rescue Certificates from the Zimbabwe School of Mines.

“We sent a team of 27 miners to be trained in both Mine Rescue services and Mining First aid program at Zimbabwe School of Mines towards the end of 2022, they have all graduated with two separate certificates,” Nyenje said.The graduation ceremony was held in Zvishavane. Speaking at the ceremony the guest of honour Prof Jephius Matunhu said that, “The work of Artisanal Miners is not without its dangers, and it is through their unwavering dedication and resilience that they continue to make significant contributions to our nation’s economy. First aid and mine rescue are critically important aspects of mining operations, and the individuals being recognized today have demonstrated exceptional skill and courage in these areas.”

Mining fatalities increased by 30.2 per cent in 2023 to 237 from 212 accidents compared to 182 fatalities from 139 accidents in 2022.

According to the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe’s state of mining industry, a survey report which was presented on the sidelines of the 26th edition of the mining, engineering and transport expo (MineEntra) 2023 in Bulawayo by lead researcher Professor Albert Makochekanwa large-scale mines recorded 20 fatalities from 20 accidents which are 18 per cent of the total fatalities with 16 of the fatalities happening underground and 4 on the surface.

The report reads that 60 per cent of the fatalities (72) recorded during the period were reported on Small to medium-scale mines from 66 accidents with 62 of the accidents happening underground and 4 on the surface. Illegal operations recorded 28 fatalities from 24 accidents with 23 of the accidents happening underground and 1 on surface.

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According to the report, 92 percent of accidents (101) were recorded underground with 8 percent (9) reported on the surface.

“The mining industry reported 110 fatal accidents during the period January to July 2023, compared to 106 fatal accidents during the same period last year. The 110 fatal accidents resulted in 120 fatalities. 92% of the accidents reported during the period under review occurred underground.

“Large-scale operations contributed 18% of total accidents reported in the period under review. Of the 20 accidents reported for large mines, 80% were in underground operations. Illegal mining operations contributed 22% to the total number of accounts. The small-scale mining industry contributed 60% to the total number of fatal accidents,” the report reads in part.

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