Mining accidents: Govt to strengthen inspection of small scale mining operations

By ZBC Reporter

Government is restructuring and capacitating its mining inspectorate department to curb mining accidents which have claimed many lives across the country.

The country has recorded numerous deaths arising from mining accidents, with the latest being at Ran Mine in Bindura which has left a dozen miners trapped.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development summoned Mines and Mining Development Minister, Honourable Winston Chitando to account for these disasters and layout plans to avert future occurrences.

“What exactly is it that the Ministry is doing to ameliorate the situation because we have shafts that have been turned into graves due to failure by the Ministry to rescue miners,” Hon Settlement Chikwinya asked.

In his response Minister Chitando said, “over the past years there has been an increase in mining concessions and mining activities but unfortunately we have not expanded our inspectorate functions hence some miners have occupied shafts unprocedurally. However, going forward we have tabled a paper which will outline measures to reduce these incidents.”

The committee also inquired about the feasibility of the 12 billion United States dollar mining industry by the year 2023, with Minister Chitando reiterating that the target is within reach.

“Gold mines such as Shamwa, Eureka, Redwing, Pickstone and Caledonia have presented significant milestones in terms of ramping up production. In the platinum sector, Greenfield projects such as Karoo, Bravura and Great Dyke will soon start production whilst existing mines such as Mimosa, Zimplats and Unki are expanding operations which gives me confidence that we are on track to achieve that.”

The passing of the Mines and Mining Amendment Bill was also discussed, with committee members raising concern over the slow pace at which the bill is being prepared.

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