30 January 2013

Zimbabwe: ZSM to Empower Artisanal Miners

The Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM) says it will introduce a course on small scale mining targeted at players from the sector in a bid to empower artisanal miners.

The aim of the week-long course, the college said, was to equip artisanal and small scale miners with mining skills at a small scale level as well as proper management of mineral resources.

The development comes three months after Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe president, Winston Chitando, challenged the mining institution to constantly review its diploma programmes to meet the relevant needs of the fast changing mining industry.

"As a response to the national call, and in association with the Zimbabwe Miners Federation and other stakeholders, the Zimbabwe School of Mines offers a course in Small Scale Mining, targeted at artisanal miners, personnel and proprietors in small scale mining," said a statement issued by ZSM.

ZSM said the course would cover fundamentals of mine geology, introduction to mine survey fundamentals in mineral processing, basic mine finance and planning, among other concepts.

The course, which will run from March 6-12, will also see students visiting different mines as part of the training.

"This is a welcome development that will make small scale miners produce more," said the Bulawayo Miners Association secretary-general, Charles Chiponda.

"It is a wonderful course indeed which has been long overdue and I believe it will equip the artisanal miners with proper ways of surveying at the same time making their operations professional," he added.

Chiponda encouraged all association members to enroll for the course.

Now the country's highest contributor to the gross domestic product, estimated at US$10 billion, the mining sector has been growing since the discovery of diamonds in Marange in 2007.

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