- August 31, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
The following points among others are the problem faced by small scale and artisanal miners in Zimbabwe.
1. ELECTRIFICATION OF CLAIM/MINE
– we understand the high cost involved in the daily
operation of our mines due to continuous request and purchase of cell batteries and head
torches. Also the high cost of operating using a generator or fuel driven machines.
Electrifying mines will increase production and reduce the cost making our minerals competitive
on the market, as well as save the use of firewood. Sometimes as citizens we do have solutions
but wheels of government turn slowly to embrace ideas which can transform an industry like
putting all small scale mines under green energy, solar energy stations.
2. EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY
– Zimbabwe local miners does have a mammoth task in
acquiring machinery and equipment, as a lot of money is required hence the miner will be
juggling between daily operations, government fees and charges, family and equipment.
Miners are left with no option but to work within their means, resulting in failed targets, goals
or below daily production. The end result will be an unsustainable mining operation.
3. MINING FIELD OFFICERS
– Just like in agriculture, growth of a sector or industry is archived by a
collective effort being government and the stakeholders. Artisanal miners would not grow as
long as they don’t have government or ministry personnel to help them with mining and
underground challenges they encounter on daily basis.
With the background of poverty, lack of proper education and lack of employment most people
find their way into mining but without the knowledge of the industry.
The end result of this kind of venture is loss of little saved finances, loss of lives, injuries, use of
wrong mining methods, time wasted without production etc.
4. MINES or CLAIM FORTITURES
– A lot of claims or mines are being lost to big guys with money
regardless of the artisanal who invested their entire earnings on claims or mines.
We call upon the government to setup a system whereby ministries are interlinked or
connected. The need for the interlink is, to easy the renewal, gold or mineral sales, payments or
registration, such that the process would be a one stop shop
What we propose is for example a gold miner, once he produces his gold and sold it to fidelity all
charges and cost to do with his mine or claim be deducted and forwarded onwards to relevant
ministries and authorities.
The invoices or receipts the miners get from fidelity should be the only important documents
miners should safe guard as records.
5. EXPLORATION OF CLAIMS/MINING AREAS
– for the benefit of our country, the government
through the ministries should carry out exploration such that miners won’t waste resources in
speculating. If a model from our neighboring country Tanzania as presented on the ZMF summit
on 21-22 March 2018, that the government through mining association carry out surveys and
explorations for the artisanal and small to medium scale miners before they are given claims.
On this backdrop, a lot of hardworking and productive man and women will work tirelessly for
their country to prosper. Let there be a scheme to assist in the exploration, there are machines
which can be used like gold and reef detectors but to a small scale miner it’s costly hence the
need for government to assist and recover its dues on sales.
6. INCLUSION OF CHIEFS
– chiefs should be included in the mines and minerals act as they also
play a pivotal role in the mining activities. By virtue of being the custodians or guardians of the
whole mineral resource areas, nothing or no mining activities happen without their involvement
and participation as evident by some requirements of the EIA.
7. FAST DEPLETABLE MINERALS
– may they be exclusively be reserved for locals or citizens. The
likes of gemstones and alike minerals. If diamonds are reserved only for government then, why
not reserve the rest which the government doesn’t want to locals than to say it’s free for all
foreigners and locals.
Government must let foreigners be buyers and locals be producers or miners.
8. LICENCING OF GEMSTONE DEALERS OR AGENTS
– The current position is that government has
no clear position on gemstone trade only to say MMCZ is the sole marketing arm of
Having MMCZ as the sole arm of government a lot of trade opportunities are being lost, as
already the department is overwhelmed with other minerals like chrome etc hence the need to
bring in local Zimbabwean players to facilitate the trade.
As the gemstone dealers or agents are licensed, they will be able to issue legal documents or
invoices which can be presented at points of exiting the country like airports and boarders when
a buyer intents to travel out of the country with the gemstones.
The legal documents will indicate that the buyer had paid the full price inclusive of taxes and
royalties to X agent or dealer whose document will be computed for cross-reference by the
9. ZIMRA DUTY ON MINING EQUIPMENT AND MACHINES
– may our parliamentarians change the
zimra law or regulations and incorporate artisanal, small to medium scale mining such that it
may have promotions on mining equipment in such a way that duties and taxies are not
chargeable so as to grow the small scale mining industry. The likes of jackhammers,
underground head torches, ropes nylon and wire ropes, bits etc.
10. ROYALTIES AND LEVIES
– May the government direct part of the royalties and levies collected to
road rehabilitation, because most areas where the minerals came from, the road network is in a
very bad state.
We all know once the minerals are finished, no mine or miner will ever come back to
rehabilitate the roads for a loss.
11. HIGHWAYS AND TOLGATES vs MIN OF HEALTH
– may the government share the income
generated by the highways and tollgate with the ministry of health as more and more casualties
come from accidents and once at hospital patience are faced with lack of medicine or
treatment. This facility will be able to assist or improve our health sector such that even miners
who ply the roads get the best help on time and return back to work well and fit.
12. SYNEGIES WITHIN MINISTRIES AND GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS
– we have noted
disengagement of ministries and departments in the industry whereby production can be
increased or improved.
Giving some examples, ministry of mines should work with ministry of transport in such a way
that all the mining dump or waste will being used in the road construction and maintenance.
Mining pits which carry lots of ground water can be used in agriculture for farming projects like
fish farming, horticulture and many others.
Miners drain a lot of underground water which is clean and EMA OR ZIMWA can construct water
bodies or dams where miners pump their waste water which will be utilized by the farmers.
Currently in Zimbabwe there is no law which is specifically for small scale mining, the same laws
for mining apply to both small scale, artisanal, and big mines.
Having one shoe fits all principle cripples the operation of the small scale mining sector as there
are a lot of challenges faced, from capital, equipment, labour, mine regularization, etc as all
these are self-funded with no access to loans.
There should be a law which protects small scale miners, if endangered animal species have
laws which protects them why not a sector or industry where human beings and families are
14. LACK OF INSTITUTIONS.
Government is not doing enough in setting up essential institutions like schools, hospitals and
shopping centers for small scale miners to feel at home wherever they will be mining.
Lack of these essential facilities will cause miners to abandon their family in search of mining
fortunes thereby creating distance relationship with family and friends. Also it’s a health hazard
as miners do have high chances of contracting deadly diseases.
15. LEGAL MATTERS-
May government come up with a mining court/s where matters relating to mining are resolved
effectively and fast as we have noted with great concern that, more cases end up taking more
time to be resolved because the courts handling the cases will be overwhelmed with many
other cases and are not versed with the industry.
16. LACK OF POLICY ON SECURITY IN THE MINING SECTOR.
Small scale miners have become a target of lazy people in the mining sector in form of robber,
murderers, thieves and rapist. As a country we are now faced with a group or gangs of machete
wielding people who claim to be miners but in actual fact, being thieves and robbers.
As we have noticed these gangs had become another force if not carefully dealt with, we are
breeding terror groups to which the government at one point in time will have to face them in a
fierce battle. It’s another guerilla war in the making. Currently the police has no capacity nor
chance to deal with these terror gangs. As a country we are losing hard working citizens day by
day through machete inflicted deaths. There should be laws to protect miners from these
groups, we would propose a stiffer sentence on the perpetrators because if stock theft has not
less than 9 years, why not protect human lives than animals. The perpetrators should be given
hard labour in the mines to reduce our cost of production, as they will be working in
government mines like ZMDC,ZIMASCO, ZIMALLOYS, in the coal, chrome, limestone and other
industrial minerals which are beneficial to various sectors. We also believe that if the
presidential powers act incorporates this issue as a matter of urgency we hope sanity will
prevail. These gangs are economic saboteurs. These gangs are the ones promoting heavy
leakages as their loot or minerals will be sold to the highest bidder and with no trace.
Small scale mining operations does require financing in order to succeed with better repayment
rates and flexible terms and conditions.
Most small scale miners resort to disposing off their assets and small savings in order to start up
the mining operations.
May the government through its institutions like NSSA whose monies are being looted by
thieves in authority be channeled to the miners who are currently contributing into the
country’s financial basket.
18. VALUABLE MINERALS BEING WASTED.
We have noticed that valuable minerals are being wasted due to ignorance and lack of synergies
between ministries, communities and mining associations. May we give an example of the
current Norton – Bulawayo highway construction, we did notice that iron ore with 52.33%, red
oxide ore with 19.68% iron (Tested by Department of metallurgy on the 6th of May 2019
certificate no. 000739C), Gold and 2 more other mineral ores which we could not identify due to
lack of technical as well as technological support are being used as waste raw material in the
The second area of concern is the raw materials, river-sand being used by the Chinese tile
factory. We believe most of our rivers consists of alluvial gold and other mineral elements. On
the 9th of May 2016, just a paragraph in the Chronicle says “Excavation associated with the
upgrading of the Kariba South power station along the shores of Lake Kariba led to the
discovery of Gold & Platinum group of mineral deposits.
Discoveries were made during sand abstraction in Gache Gache. Our plea is, may the so called
raw materials from mining be extracted off the minerals before being used.
Also may the government allow knowledge transfer between the so called technical people
(surveyors, geologist etc) and the miners or associations in order to boost the Industry. Once
miners are equipped they will be able to use the knowledge, in mining various minable minerals
like copper, manganese, gemstones, iron, tantalite etc.
19. LACK OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FROM FOREIGN INVESTORS OR MINES.
From a community point of view, we were better off without these miners or so called investors.
They are busy looting our minerals and ores, giving far less or nothing to the community. Our
people are suffering more day by day from lack of better roads being destroyed by miners, poor
wages, salaries and working conditions when employed, lack of health facilities and schools
while minerals worth billions of dollars are vanishing from our communities. Giving an example
of Afrochine plying our communities in search of the much needed chrome ores to feed their
smelter but nothing has been done since their establishment to make our roads state of the art
or just better so that when they leave, we have something to show for.
May the government push for a side by side community development with investor during their
business setup, rather than for them to prioritize their business and the community last, while
they got the very minerals first from the community.
A community master plan must be availed before any commencement of works.
20. LACK OF RESPECT TO OUR TRADITIONAL CULTURE AND VALUES.
Most of our foreign investors do lack respect to our traditional culture and values. May the
responsible authorities enlighten them that we are a country rooted in our beliefs and values.
We have places and areas which cannot be mined because of zviera and midzimu yedu but
because its investment, we noticed that most of the sacred areas are being penetrated by the so
called investors in the name of prospecting and exploration, later on mining. A good example is
the Chinese mining at Nharira hills. Our chiefs and local leadership have no value or meaning to
the foreign investors.
21. EXCLUSIVE PROSPECTING ORDERS (E.P.O)
Since most Zimbabweans are ready geared to venture into mining, we believe these orders
should not nor never be issued. Zimbabwe is open for business as the presidents’ mantra, but
EPOs are closing down Zimbabwe’s business. This country has been prospected by these foreign
investors for years now, what we require as a country is production. It is known world over, not
a secret that Zimbabwe has vast deposits of minerals like chrome, gold, lithium, tantalite,
manganese, platinum etc, but year in and year out, the country is always being blanketed with
22. LACK OF IMPROVEMENT ON THE DEPARTMENT OF METALLURGY
May the powers being, do visit the department and see for themselves that the department
needs to be revamped or refurbishment. As miners, when searching for investors, partners or
markets we require credible test results which meet international standards. Please, we beg
you, may something be done to improve the metallurgy department. We are issued with test
results but due to their state, sometimes we doubt their accuracy.
23. MINER – FARMER DISPUTE.
We believe both parties play pivotal roles in our economy hence the need to look at this issue
holistically. A farmer requires surface area for farming and a miner requires ground area for
mining. As a country we need to come up with models which are suitable and in tandem with
the MINISTRY OF AGRICULTUREs farm zoning, that is, A1, A2 AND Commercial farm. As a
suggestion, if per say, a miner wishes to register a mine or claim in a 20 hector farm size let him
be allowed only 5 hectors surface area so that he spares more space for a farmer than to take
up a big surface area which may not be used at all.
24. ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL GRANTS.
May the government really be serious in this regards, if it requires the industry to grow. At this
time and age we expect and anticipate smooth flow of the process but in the special grant
process it’s a nightmare, as we are advised that the board which does approvals seats once or
twice a month and honestly for the whole country. This process brings about a window to
corruption and injustice to locals as they will be spending more money in following up. In some
cases two years passes without even a response hence those with hard cash getting what they
wish. May something be done as a matter of urgency.