At the beginning of August 2020, I travelled to Kadoma the “City of Gold” popularly known for its rich gold reserves and wealthy flamboyant gold buyers and miners. The town has well-known names like Cossy Rules, B Majari, Mrasta, Zvidzai, and many more.
By Keith Sungiso
A highly regarded figure in the City is a down to earth, quiet, humble gentleman well respected in the mining circles. Timothy Chizuzu is the founder of Timella Mining Consultancy an organisation that has for the past decade provided quality mining services to hundreds of miners not only in Kadoma but Mashonaland West Province. He also is the founder of National Environment Awareness Trust (Neat), Secretary-general of Zimbabwe Prospectors Association, and ZMF National Youth Chairperson.
Here is how the interview went
Mr. Chizuzu a bit of information about yourself?
My name is Timothy Chizuzu I was born in Kadoma, I’m a mining consultant I started mining consultancy in 2006 that is when I was registered by the ministry of mines.
What made you venture into the mining business and why?
I ventured into the mining sector due to my passion for exploring and researching the mining sector as well as to earn a living. I had an appetite to know about mineral governance, how the system goes about in assisting the sustainability of the mining sector to economic resuscitation. I’m also in the mining sector to assist in how policies should be drafted to improve the country’s mining investment thereby eradicating poverty through employment creation.
You seem to be prioritising gold mining yet Mashwest has vast minerals. Why?
For the past 12-13, I have been concentrating mainly on mining consultancy. Two years ago I ventured full-time into mining extraction and I was attracted to gold mining because in Kadoma it is the mineral everyone is mining. I am also in the process of acquiring claims to venture into other minerals like gemstones and chrome.
How has Kadoma benefited from Timothy’s mining ventures?
In Kadoma, I have assisted several miners including MuRasta, Tshuma Milling, companies, and small-scale individual miners. I have also helped many miners and many have applauded my services as a renowned mining consultancy and prospector.
Tell us about Timella Mining Consultancy
Timella Mining Consultancy is an independent Consultancy company that provides focus, advice, and instruction in the mining industry. It offers services from mining rights acquisition, exploration through feasibility mine planning and production to mine closure. We also assist with disputes and legal matters concerning the mining industry in Zimbabwe. We also advise on environmental issues to miners and our mission is to provide expert solutions in the mining sector. Our philosophy is, we believe that to succeed we must contribute to the successes of our clients. We prioritize our clients; our performance is only good as our clients and as the staff, we are able to attract development and returns. The cornerstone of our philosophy is to develop and embrace new technologies and methodologies to the advantage of our clients and our business. It is our view that the growth of our business should be in response to our clients. Our values are integrity, client focus, accountability, and innovation.
What are the benefits of engaging Timella Consultancy services?
The advantages of engaging Timela mining consultancy is that we have professional and qualified people from different departments of the mining sector, who have much experience in the acquisition of mining rights, surveyors and geologist who help in exploration. Timella helps by giving the correct information because we have qualified and professionals who will be there to help you professionally execute your endeavours.
Kadoma is well known for Machete gangs. Have you ever encountered any attacks at your site? If so were you able to get assistance from the police?
Since my claims are in Battlefields, a hotspot for machete gangs, we encounter them from time to time. At one time we had to inform the police after a gang armed with machete and hand catapults was giving us problems. The police managed to contain the situation and most of the guys were arrested.
I have visited your mine sites and its impressive and very professionally set up. How long did it take you to have such facilities?
As I said before, I have less than 2 years in full mining (claim ownership). I’m therefore developing my claims to medium scale. I’m currently carrying out exploration so that the mining at my claims will be standard and by the book.
What five things would you say need to be improved or fixed to attain a better ASM
- The number one thing for artisanal miners is for them to quickly register and standardize their mining operations. The government should implement a model like that of the Ministry of Agriculture. if we get field officers who will be helping and giving advice to small scale miners, helping them to adapt to proper mining and advising them to mine safety as well as helping with exploration, mineral leakages would be minimized.
- The government needs to assist ASM with loans that will be monitored by the field officers for the money to be used for mining prospecting and exploration (and not to be misused).
- Most of the small-scale miners are in rural areas, for the government to protect them, the police need to be well resourced especially when it comes to mobility. Most police stations in the rural areas have no cars to patrol especially in the mining communities.
- The government should legalise artisanal miners so that they would sell their gold to the right market. There is a danger in illegalising their operations because they will always sell their products to the alternative market.
- Small scale miners need to be mechanised, by this, the government needs to make sure that our mining claims are bankable so that they can be collateral for bankers.
You are also the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Prospectors Association tell us about that.
I am the secretary for the Zimbabwe Prospectors Association an organisation that registered on the 26th of March 2018.
The main mission and mandate of the ZPA is to empower Zimbabwean prospectors to be professionally competitive in mining consultancy and also to represent them on all mining platforms as well as the Ministry of mines. It is easy for them to engage the ministry of mines and other stakeholders in the mining industry. ZPA represents the interests of all prospectors in Zimbabwe and abroad and pursuing their recognition and acceptance as vital and pivotal stakeholders and qualified professionals in the mining industry.
How does one know if they have engaged services of professional prospection services? We have heard of people paying thousands for mining services and not get any meaningful returns. What methods do you use to ensure people get value for their money.
If you want to know that you are engaging a professional prospector one has to have a crap number which shows they are an Approved Prospector. Currently, we have a problem because the ministry does not have the material to make the I.Ds but prospectors carry letters from the Ministry. Before miners engage prospectors they should ask for their Crap number so that they won’t be duped by bogus and unscrupulous prospectors.
Artisanal miners and Chinese have been blamed for the largest chunk of environmental degradation, do you have a strategy or model to decrease land degradation?
The issue of land degradation is a high thing of concern, especially in Zimbabwe. The main challenge is the monitoring of small scale and artisanal miners. The number of small-scale miners is more than the staff we have at the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Mines. That’s why I said before that the government needs to employ field officers who will be monitoring the activities of ASM teaching them how to preserve and rehabilitate the environment. Tickets should therefore be issued after a thorough awareness; many miners don’t know how they can rehabilitate the land.
You are also the founder of National Environment Awareness Trust (Neat). What is NEAT all about?
NEAT is a Non-Governmental Organisation that deals much with environmental activities. Our main activities are awareness and advocacy. We move around educating people on safe practices of mining, how to keep our environment safe and clean, how to manage our affluence as miners. We are there to be engaged in all environmental management and mining-related issues.
There are many mining graduates without jobs what advice would you give to them, and how do you intend to help them as ZMF Youth in Mining leader?
To mining professionals who have no jobs, the best way is they need to come up recruit, and form syndicates acquire claims then look for grants or working capital from financial institutions. These guys can do a feasibility study on their claims so that their claims would be nearly bankable therefore attracting funding. The graduates need to create their own employment to advance the professionalized and standardized small-scale mining sector.
Besides mining what else does Timothy do?
I am looking forward to venturing into the Agriculture sector, focusing on Animal husbandry. I have seen that the best way to go in Zimbabwe is to increase food production.
You can get in touch with Timothy Chizuzu [email protected]