Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Mashonaland West Provincial chairperson Mr Timothy Chizuzu praised the small-scale miners in Kadoma for showing dedication to the growth and development of artisanal and small-scale mining.
In an interview with Mining Zimbabwe after the ZMF Mashonaland West Executive fact-finding mission and solution inclined mining visits to see the growth and development of small scale mining in the province the initiative which was pioneered will see the executive led by Mr Timothy Chizuzu (chairperson), Mr Johannes Sithole (Treasury) and Ms Glady’s Hwami visiting mines across the province in order to establish an acceptable and standard small scale miner in Zimbabwe. Chizuzu expressed excitement over the performance of small scale miners in Kadoma stating that their work shows that small scale mining is the future of Zimbabwe.
Chizuzu called for the proper structuring, monitoring and regulation of small-scale mining saying it has proven to have the potential to emancipate many people from poverty.
He said it was important to bring together academics, industry players and students to brainstorm on illegalities associated with the mining of gold and other minerals and how technologies could be used to control such activities.
“I’m happy we have managed to visit some of the small-scale mines in Kadoma Mashonaland West Province, I’m really impressed with how they are doing their work and I have seen that as small-scale miners we have a future,” Chizuzu said.
Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe earlier this year, RioZim Chief Geologist Mr Patrick Takaedza said the country was not supposed to entirely depend on micro mining as artisanal miners are not capable of mining deep with low-grade mining being of significant challenge to them.
He said that many small-scale miners would not afford exploration leading their mining activities to be unsustainable.
“Exploration is a very expensive and risky business which the small-scale miners have no capacity to undertake. The big companies who have that capacity will not invest in 10ha size claims for the simple fact that such a small area will never hold significant resource to recoup investment or produce for a couple of years”
“Recent thrust in exploration is to find deposits that are subsurface without any surface expression which the small-scale miner has no capacity to find”.
“Exploration diamond drilling costs approximately US$100 per metre. This means that EPOs focus on long term sustainability of the mining industry while small scale miners are just focused on near-surface, less than 100m reefs which sooner or later will get depleted and exhausted”
“Production will need to be replaced by deeper reefs or much lower-grade deposits and neither of these is attractive to the small scale. Artisanals will never sustain the mining industry because of these two simple facts. They can’t mine deep and they can’t mine lower grades’’ Takaedza said.
However, Chizuzu said miners in Kadoma have proven that small scale miners can really sustain the economy of Zimbabwe because some are beginning to mine low grades and affording to mine over 50 tonnes of gold ore a day.
“Some of the small-scale miners are mining as low as one gram per tonne because they are pushing volumes, some are mining up to 4000 tonnes. My appeal to government and other stakeholders is that we need to support the sector so that it benefits much to the economy of Zimbabwe” Chizuzu said.
Chizuzu took over the reins of ZMF Mashonalandwest in June this year after a landslide win at a colourful ceremony held at Oddsey in Kadoma.