Daniel Mhonda Mutare Correspondent
Small scale miners in Manicaland have welcomed Government’s initiative to establish the first one stop gold processing centre in Odzi, saying it would comprehensively bring back sanity in the sector. The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Manicaland Miners Association (MMA) announced that the second processing centre by Government was to be set up in Manicaland following the Bubi Gold Service Centre in Matabeleland North.
A local miner in Manicaland Mr Latt Makahwi told Post Business that the development was going to improve the sector and cushion miners from outrageous prices from private gold processing companies.
“I believe that the Government initiative is a noble idea towards enhancing gold production in the country and developing the livelihood of small scale miners like us,” said Mr Makahwi
He added: “Government has acknowledged the role being played by the small mining sector in the country and has set up mechanisms to develop the economy by boosting gold production from this sector. This can only be achieved by targeting most of the artisanal miners in the province. This also will help miners to make informed decisions towards the development of the country,” he said.
Another local miner Ms Memory Chirara said: “We want Government to fast track this project following the observation that a lot of gold is being lost through the black market, a situation that has been very hard for the authorities to control because of the sophisticated illegal ways of smuggling.
“Gold production has declined recently as a result of smuggling and this has an effect on the national foreign currency income, hence if we have the processing plant now it would help solve some of the problems the nation has been facing.
“This is a win-win situation considering the services that miners will benefits, which will be ranging from technical support, reduced transport costs and reasonable charges that cannot be compared with the steep charges private millers have been charging us,” she said.
She also said they would be offered the opportunity to get paid from their residue which private players have been keeping for their benefit.
MMA chairman Mr Godfrey Kombo said the development was a positive move towards easing miners’ operational costs hence the call to have them register.
“The first to enjoy the benefits would be those formally registered. We also want to look at the long term benefits from the technical support miners will receive. Miners will receive education that will help curb the accidents that have taken a lot of lives. It will also help us preserve our environment from the oversight role the centre will provide.
“President Mnangagwa has said the goal is to target at least 100 tonnes of gold by 2023 but I believe with this centre in place and artisanal miners playing their part, we are very much capable of surpassing that target even before 2023,” he said.