BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
UNKI Platinum Mine chief surveyor Clever Dick says there is need for the mining sector to embrace latest technology to reduce deaths and improve accuracy in surveying.
He made the remarks at the Professionals Business Association of Zimbabwe breakfast meeting in Bulawayo on Friday.
Dick said the use of drones was crucial in the mining fraternity because they cover a lot of land in a short time and were accurate.
“In terms of survey, accuracy survey is high precision work. Once you make a mistake, you can cause death. Smart mining is the way to go, but we have not really embraced it fully. In other countries like Australia, they are no longer sending people, but are sending machines that are now doing the job, but we are not there yet,” he said.
“The problem we currently have is the economy and the lack of capital. The initial capital should be high and the long-term benefit becomes high, but the problem we have now is that people in the mining sector focus on short-term gains.”
Zimbabwe has for years been plagued by mining accidents, some attributed to illegal mining which has seen artisanal miners getting into disused mines and breaking safety protocols. Dick said it was important for authorities to protect miners selling their gold to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“We recently had an operation that was covering 10 000 hectares and put control points of drones and they took the photos and the work was done in less than two hours, but sending a surveyor could take more than six months,” he said.