Zimbabwe: Chitando Return Excites Zvishavane Miners

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11 September 2018

The Zvishavane - Mberengwa Miners Association (ZMMA), a grouping of 204 small-scale miners, says the re-appointment of Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando is expected to transform the country's mining sector.

Minister Chitando, who was re-appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Friday when he announced his new Cabinet and took oath of office with the rest of ministers yesterday, is a former executive chairman for Mimosa Mine.

Mimosa mines platinum in Zvishavane.

Chairperson for the ZMMA Thembinkosi Sibanda, told The Herald Business last week that the return of Minister Chitando, should see the growth of the mining sector given his vast experience.

Mr Sibanda said the gesture from Minister Chitando during his time as Mimosa boss, which saw the company extending mining equipment worth $200 000 to ZMMA, should be replicated across the country by mining houses operating in those areas to boost production.

"He (Minister Chitando) is the one who bought the equipment we have as an association, and it's encouraging. To us he might be an asset if he keeps on understanding us," said Mr Sibanda.

"Now that he is in charge of the Ministry of Mines, we feel he is going to be with us in our activities as small-scale miners and we want him to come on board and listen to our pleas.

"But we want to see other mining companies doing the same for small-scale miners in areas they operate from, for instance Murowa Mine would help the Renco community while How Mine helps miners in Esigodini."

Mimosa donated brand new compressors and a pick-up truck to ZMMA worth $200 000 in 2015.

In 2016, ZMMA had increased the number of compressors by three, which they bought with own resources.

Yesterday, Minister Chitando told The Herald Business that Government has a programme designed to grow the small-scale mining sector.

"For the gold sector, it's for where there is much more activity and its centred around gold centres which will be unveiled throughout all the provinces and various areas which warrant having such facilities," said Minister Chitando.

"These gold centres will be driven primarily by ZMDC (the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation) in partnership with other stakeholders.

"At the same time, there are some mining companies that have undertaken a number of initiatives to assist the small-scale miners, some through provision of equipment and some through ensuring that small-scale miners have access to their services such as laboratories and things like that."

Minister Chitando encouraged all big mining companies to increase their assistance to small-scale miners so that they contribute towards their operations.

Small-scale miners, particularly gold producers, have become big players in the economy in recent months as they are contributing significantly to deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR).

As at July 31, 2018, small-scale miners delivered 13,7 tonnes of gold out of the total 20,8 tonnes achieved.

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