HARARE – Local researchers say they are ready to increase artisanal small scale miners’ capacity as part of efforts to enhance the sector’s production efficiency and contribution to the economy.
Scientific and Industrial Research Development Centre (SIRDIC), Zimbabwe Economic Policy and Research Unit (ZEPARU), University of Zimbabwe’s department of geology and Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM) have said were open to work with the sector through training, research and advisory.
Artisanal miners, especially gold producers have become the country’s primary producers accounting for 53 percent of the total gold delivered to Fidelity Printers in 2017. Despite their contribution, the artisanal miners fail to realize their full potential due to a host of challenges mainly equipment with most of them using rudimental methods of mining.
SIRDIC principal research scientist Noah Nyemba said they were prepared to work with the sector in identifying the challenges the sector face and come up with technological innovations that are suitable for the artisanal miners. This, should help increase productivity in a sustainable manner.
“We want to interact with SME miners and research with them on their problems so that we come up with proper technologies that are required for the sector especially with regards to gold beneficiation. We need technologies that enhance efficiency and productivity as well as affordable for them,” he said.
As part of efforts to assist the sector, the UZ’s department of geology and the ZSM have come up with training programmes for small scale miners to enhance sustainable production while increasing output. ZSM board member Dr Maideyi Meck said in 2017 alone, they had six group of miners from the southern region for training while the school also trained miners in Kadoma.
She said more would be done for small scale miners with various training programmes to increase their productivity. National think tank, ZEPARU also indicated collaboration with Oxfam on a research paper focusing on artisanal miners.
This is expected to outline the challenges the sector faces, possible solutions and how to harness the sector for further economic growth.