BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
YOUNG Miners Foundation (YMF) chief executive Payne Kupfukwa has lamented that the local mining industry was lagging behind in terms of technology, with firms using archaic and inefficient equipment.
Kupfukwa made the remarks during a YMF seminar held at the Zimbabwe School of Mines in Bulawayo on Friday last week.
The seminar sought to discuss modalities on how to achieve a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023 at the same time highlighting problems faced by miners.
“Things are very slow in the mining sector which is the backbone of the economy. Our technology is still behind; we are using technology that was used by our forefathers,” Kupfukwa said.
“The mining sector is not moving in line with the other technology. We have to come up with innovative technologies to steer the mining industry. You discover that our students when they graduate and go to places like Germany they cannot even operate a mining machine there because it will be a totally new advanced machine.”
How Mine operations manager, Elton Gwatidzo urged the Mines ministry to improve on certification of miners.
“We have a problem of mining rights and claims. The same piece of land can be distributed to two different people and this causes disputes and resolutions that can take a time frame of about five years,” Gwatidzo said.
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“There is lack of exploitation of minerals. My encouragement is to make synergies with institutions of higher learning. Some of the idle resources which were dumped should be utilised as they can be resuscitated by engineers and continue to mine.”
Current statistics show that 84% of miners are unregistered and only 16% are registered.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation public relations officer Desman Mangisi said artisanal miners were facing many challenges.
“Mining should be formalised, that is, allocation of mineable areas with resources that can be accessed by artisanal miners,” he said.
“There are dispute issues in the gold sector; they (artisanal) are bringing in over 20% of total gold output, that is, around five tonnes per annum.”
Mangisi also said an estimated 15 tonnes is traded on the parallel market.
“Some of the challenges faced by artisanal miners include mechanisation and lack of funding, in accessible loans,” Mangisi said.