Some unlicensed miners disrupt Metallon’s Mazowe gold project

27 May, 2024 - 15:05 0 Views
Some unlicensed miners disrupt Metallon’s Mazowe gold project Mazowe Mining Company

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

METALLON Corporation’s subsidiary, Mazowe Mining Company, says it is facing resistance from some artisanal miners to resume large-scale operations from some operators around the gold mine despite a recent Government order to halt all unsafe mining activities.

In January this year, Mazowe Mining Corporation (MMC) announced plans to resume underground shaft operations, which were suspended in 2019 after an invasion of its minefields by some artisanal miners.

The resumption of the planned underground mining activities at Mazowe is part of the firm’s broader strategy to reintroduce safer shaft mining and extensively rehabilitate mining areas.

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s inspectorate department, in March this year conducted a safety inspection of pit mining operations around Mazowe Mine, before subsequently suspending all unsafe mining practices in the affected areas.

“This order effectively halted all unsafe mining operations to pave way for formal, regulated operations. We regret that this legal Government order and the mine’s plans to restore organised mining have faced resistance from some operators in the area,” it said.

“These actions have hindered MMC’s efforts to urgently rehabilitate mining pits and commence large scale, safer mining operations.”

Due to illegal mining activities that have ensued at Mazowe, the site has suffered land degradation and in some instances, loss of lives as the shafts collapsed due to artisanal miners rudimentary and unsafe mining methods.

MMC said the initiative to restore underground mining operations aligns with the Government’s call for safe and sustainable mining practices and investment in the growth of the critical mining sector.

Last year, President Mnangagwa launched the Responsible Mining Initiative which seeks to combat illegal mining operations across all mining regions in the country.

The President has stated that the Government will not tolerate any form of non-compliance in the mining sector and authorities have embarked on a mines audit that seeks to buttress the objectives of the Responsible Mining Initiative.

“Mazowe Mine is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to achieve the following goals: ending unsafe pit mining operations and transitioning the mine to secure shaft mining, thereby preventing loss of life and protecting local communities and the environment; and resuming large-scale underground shaft operations to align with the national goal for responsible and safe mining practices,” it said.

In the past, Zimbabwe’s mining industry has been plagued with illegal operations that cost the country millions of dollars and have been detrimental to the environment.

The mining sector is one of the country’s major economic centerpieces driving the country to an upper middle income society by 203, anchored by gold while platinum is on second spot in terms of contribution to the fiscus.

Platinum and gold account for more than 50 percent of the country’s export revenue while mining in general brings in over 75 percent of the export earnings.

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