Heather Charema Correspondent
Zanu-PF’s Mashonaland West provincial leadership has urged small-scale miners in the province to form mining cooperatives that could help to increase production and grow the economy.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has identified agriculture and mining as key economic sectors that could add fillip to economic growth efforts. The country has around 25 000 registered small-scale miners, but it is estimated that there are nearly 500 000 miners involved in artisanal mining.
Addressing Zanu-PF youths at a Mhondoro-Ngezi inter-district meeting at Turf Township in Mhondoro-Ngezi on Tuesday, provincial youth chairperson Cde Vengai Musengi said small-scale miners had an important role to play in growing the economy.
“Small-scale miners are key to this country’s economic growth and we, therefore, call upon them to direct their efforts to the development of our economy,” he said.
“If you can join and register cooperatives, this will improve the mining sector and your minerals will be monitored better if you come up with cooperatives.” Small-scale miners, he said, performed well last year, which boosted output of the yellow metal, with small-scale miners overtaking big mining houses.
“Last year, we all witnessed the increase in the gold output, where small-scale miners contributed the bulk of the output,” said Cde Musengi.
“The gold deliveries by these small-scale miners to Fidelity Printers and Refiners rose to 1 045kg by June last year from 874,9kgs, surpassing the monthly output by primary producers.
“This is quite commendable and we expect that they contribute to our economic development.” Cde Musengi reiterated that if small-scale mining was taken seriously in the province, development would be guaranteed in all spheres of life.
“Small-scale mining in this province, if taken seriously, will see community, roads and infrastructure development improve. This is not new: towns and cities have been built around mines, with some mining companies being able to build dams, bridges, roads, with provision of clean water, power and communication,” he said.
“This, we believe, small-scale miners can achieve as well. I would like to commend some small-scale miners, who have been able to fund themselves to acquire mining equipment to facilitate productivity.” Cde Musengi urged those in both small-scale and artisanal mining to shun corruption and violence.