The Zimbabwe Miners Federation has called for close relations between artisanal and small-scale miners and large-scale miners saying this will help small-scale miners to grow.
Speaking during the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe conference In Victoria Falls, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya said the interface is of paramount importance because small-scale miners have a lot to learn from the large-scale producers in terms of health and safety among other things.
“We also have a lot to learn from the large scale producers in so far as how we can graduate from being small to medium, be it large scale miners.
“So it is important to learn how the big boys are doing it. ASM harmonised policies are also of paramount importance especially given the fact that these policies will inculcate in our minds as small-scale miners on how we can apply such practices in so far as the execution of the mining business is concerned.
“We have come up with a number of strategies to grow the ASM sector in so far as mining mechanisation programmes are concerned,” she said.
She added that formalisation of small-scale and artisanal mining is of paramount importance for the sector to contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“We are asking for the repealing of the Gold Trade Act, especially from section three to section twelve which talks about criminalisation of gold possession without valid licences.
“Can Honourable Bimha carry our message as small-scale miners to the ruling party, especially politicians in so far as repealing the Gold Trade Act when it comes to election time and reinforcing it after elections, can this be permanent, please.
“The formalization of the ASM into the mainstream economy is worth noting. Our sector is growing, so we kindly request that we become participants that are active in contributing to the country’s GDP,” she said.
A growing number of large-scale mining companies are exploring models through which they can achieve co-existence with local ASM groups, but this always requires the active involvement of the government. There are a range of approaches that may facilitate this – formalization; sub-contracting; co-existence; shared processing plants for ASM groups and central bank buy-in programmes.