Mining Zimbabwe has been visiting a lot of small scale miners and one thing we always noticed was water being pumped from the ground and wasted away onto the surface.
This is a very common practice with the exception of one Mr Fletcher Mbizo a Norton miner who is rather not just wasting the water away but assisting ZRP Norton with the much-needed water which created an open door for others who are presently engaging in Horticulture at the site.
With the water challenges some town councils are facing other than just wasting the water away, small-scale miners can bottle this water for sale in retail outlets. If more and more of them engage in this practice bottled water will flood the market thereby bringing the prices down.
Rather than the small-scale miners bottling the water, they can also sell to bottling water companies too.
“Normally water found in mine shafts is regarded as a major problem to handle by artisanal and small scale miners as it requires expensive pumping equipment which they would rather avoid to buy if they could. However, this could change if the pumped out water is regarded as one of the products of mining and it is exploited for agricultural production. If the water is provided to local farmers within the vicinity of a mine, a new concept of “agro-mining” could be developed and may actually lead to the mitigation of climate-change-induced droughts and hence greater agricultural production around mines. This will result in the reduction of farmer-miner conflicts that occur quite frequently around the country” said Legendary miner Engineer Chris Murove.
Norton miners association chairman Mr. Previlage Moyo said “Value addition is a very good idea”
“It is a business opportunity that has the potential to bring us added revenue rather than just waste the water away. When we pump water from the ground and onto the surface it just goes to the next miner and next and next so preserving it will help reduce waterlogging.
Miners closer to schools and hospitals can also assist if there are challenges who can collect water to deliver to schools or hospitals across neighborhoods. Or if close enough they can even build tanks that can have water being pumped directly to council reservoirs.
This article first appeared in the December 2019 Mining Zimbabwe Magazine