Vice-President Joice Mujuru has assured gold panners that their operations would soon be regularised and urged them to participate at such forums as the Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) to sharpen their mining skills.
Addressing delegates during the official opening of the 17th edition of Mine Entra in Bulawayo on Thursday, Mujuru said the so-called makorokoza (panners) had proved to be a major player in the mining industry.
Note is made of the fact that the mining industry is no longer dominated by large corporations only but a number of small to medium scale miners, including the so called makorokoza, said Mujuru.
I hope that they are also here present to take advantage of the Mine Entra 2012 and pick the best practices that can help them grow out of the informal sector into big corporations in the formal sector.
The enormous wealth and diversity of mineral resources will undoubtedly drive Zimbabwes economic development.
The Vice-President said the performance of the mining sector had improved greatly since 2009 in terms of capacity and production. Last year, the sector achieved a 16% growth and contributed 13% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), she said.
This year, the mining sector is forecast to grow by 16, 7% ahead of agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors, she said.
Meanwhile, organisers of the Mine Entra exhibition have described the event as a major success following an increase in the number of exhibitors and amount of space taken up as compared to last years showcase. The week-long event ended yesterday with 216 direct and 56 indirect exhibitors participating at the show.
This years event was held under the theme: Reveal Local Treasures, Strike Global Returns.
Bekithemba Nkomo, chairman of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company told journalists yesterday that the total space taken up this year was far more than last year.
The quality of stands and exhibits was of a high standard. Looking into the future, we are planning that small-scale miners become more involved in the exhibition as well, said Nkomo.