Mash West Bureau
Small-scale and artisanal miners have been urged to exercise due diligence in their operations to eliminate increased accidents that have led to the led to loss of lives and injured many in in recent months.
The call was made by Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, during a visit to Task Mine Syndicate in Chegutu yesterday.
Five artisanal miners remain trapped at Task Mine following a mineshaft collapse in September last year, and rescue efforts are underway.
Minister Chitando said while many people, particularly youths, were eking out a living from the gold sector, it was critical for them to consider orderly and careful mining to avoid injuries and losses of life.
“All the mines including Task Mine Syndicate should operate under the dictates of orderly and careful mining. I am reliably informed by Chegutu West legislator, Cde Webster Shamu, about more disorderly mining in and around Chegutu and it is my wish that the Ministry of Mines and various players including Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) engage for orderly mining across the mining sector.
“There was a resolution that was passed in Cabinet regarding orderly mining and strict safety health and environment standards and as a Ministry, we are tasked to ensure that all players follow the guidelines,” he said.
He said while there was a new set of guidelines to be adhered to, the focus for now was to rescue the trapped miners through the concerted efforts of various ministries.
“After the rescue, we will then reflect and check on what needs to be done to avoid future accidents,” he said.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Mines Mr Munesu Munodawafa said preliminary investigations showed that the Task Mine disaster was caused by a weak support system.
“We have too many mine shafts close to about 30 in a very small area which affects support work,” he said.
By yesterday, efforts were still being made to rescue the trapped miners.
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