- May 22, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
For those who are not familiar with the Mining industry if one hears about Small-scale miners or Makorokoza as they are mostly referred to, usually the first thing that comes to mind is violence, revelling, and alcohol abuse. Some are known to go as far as buying alcoholic beverages for everyone in drinking spots and bars where they will be drinking.
Little is spoken about the actual small-scale mine owner. These are the ‘Corporate’ or ‘CEO’s’ of mine claims.
Mining Zimbabwe met with small-scale gold miners, Mr. Fletcher Mbizo and Ms. Sheila Mabasa at Moflegosh mine in Norton. Their mine is a unique example of small-scale miners making a difference in the community they are operating from.
They began operations at his mine in 2010 after getting a special grant. As it is with most beginners they did not have enough to properly finance operations so they resorted to seeking sponsors and throughout the years worked with a number with most withdrawing when the going got tough.
“We got a special grant from the council and after that, we started looking for sponsors. Since then we have worked with various sponsors some of whom sponsored us well but it is very difficult to find someone with adequate funds to sponsor. Those who came usually with-drew when problems arose” Fletcher Mbizo said.
Years later Moflegosh mine has drastically improved with mines in the vicinity and beyond also benefiting from it. The mine now has an operating horticulture site that supplies Norton with fresh produce. The mine also operates Custom Milling and has cyanidation tanks that are used to process minerals by many mines in the Norton area and beyond.
Norton like Harare has challenges with a consistent supply of clean water. Moflegosh mine has made life easy for inhabitants of the Norton Police camp by supplying water for general use. Mining Zimbabwe witnessed Police officers busy weeding, watering their gardens using the water from the mine.
Another beneficiary is Mr. John Mushonga who grows various horticulture produce for sale. Mushonga was offered the land that was not in use at the mine by the pair which has created further jobs as Mushonga employs three people.
Fletcher said, ”In regards to agriculture we have done the best we can. We have allowed people to farm on the piece of land we are currently not using and we provide a constant supply of water for irrigation and other uses”.
Mushonga grows and supplies Norton with tomatoes and vegetables using drip irrigation from water supplied by Mbizo. The site is well known for fresh produce and maize contributing to the needs of Norton residents. Mushonga is now resident on-site with his family.
“I am into Horticulture and am thankful for the land I have been given for producing agricultural products. I produce tomatoes, vegetables, and lots more irrigating with water from the mine. The mine has helped me, my family and workers and we have been constantly supplying Norton with fresh produce for years”.
Fetcher and Sheila hope to expand Moflegosh mine which they say will create more jobs for the community. They said to have an improved output the government must provide equipment and much-needed expertise.
Article first appeared in the Mining Newsweek (Mining Zimbabwe Weekly) in the 18 May 2020 Edition