Government will ensure small scale and artisanal miners gain acces to gold mining land as part of its efforts to increase mineral production in the country, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Engineer Fred Moyo said.“There is a host of sweeping reforms in the gold mining sector. Gold panning is headed for a major transformation. The country, through the relevant mining authorities, will soon formalise the activities of the artisanal miners and also introduce gold service centres.”
He said uinder the ambitious programme, Government will recognise the operations of artisanal miners and then capacitate them with machinery. “As you can see already some gold mining land has since been availed to small scale miners by the bigger corporates. However the issue of ceding some mining claims does not only apply to gold but some big chrome mining companies have already ceded part of their land,” said Eng Moyo.
Metallon Gold Corporation recently allocated 288 gold claims covering over 11 000 hectares at its Redwing Mine to small-scale miners.
Engineer Moyo said the formalization of the small scale mining sector is an ongoing process but what was important is that Government now recognises the sector’s contribution to the economy.
He said Government’s focus together with the Zimbabwe Miners Federation at the moment is the implementation of several mooted formalization initiatives.
“Formalization of the sector is a process and at the moment Government has recognised the importance of this sector and implementation is the next step.
Small-scale gold miners are expected to double their output to more than 12 tonnes this year on the back of improved support from the on-going formalization exercise.
ZMF chief executive Wellington Takavarasha said there are 500 000 small scale and artisanal miners operating in Zimbabwe.