New era beckons for artisanal miners

Source: New era beckons for artisanal miners | The Herald September 5, 2019

New era beckons for artisanal miners

Thomas Chidamba
All eyes will be focused on the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) annual general meeting and inaugural conference and exhibition, from September 10-11 in Gweru, to see how mining stakeholders intend to align artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) in the mainstream economy.

As the artisanal and small-scale miners, service providers, stakeholders, policymakers and Chamber of Mines converge at the Gweru Business Convention Centre, the venue of the ZMF AGM and Exhibition Conference, they will all be aiming at “revolutionising the ASM sector through formalisation”.

The ASM sector has been a major contributor to the country’s total gold output, yet their operations have long been stigmatised and largely viewed as informal. According to Fidelity Printers and Refiners,  the ASM sector in 2018 produced 22 tonnes out of the total 34 tonnes produced, representing a 65 percent contribution.

“The Government acknowledges that the ASM sector has for long been disenfranchised due to stigmatisation of their operations, hence the need to align them in the mainstream economy,” reads a statement from ZMF.

It is against this background that the conference speakers, who will include industry leaders and experts, will provide new perspectives on main issues and concerns affecting the artisanal and small mining sector. The speakers will also share cutting edge content and insights on the mining landscape.

This year’s AGM will be held in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. Speakers will be drawn from the ministries of Mines, Finance and Energy as well as from Fidelity Printers and Refiners, Chamber of Mines and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

Meanwhile, the exhibition is an opportunity for the ASM sector to network and meet buyers and decision-makers from the mining industry. It is also a chance to engage with manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. — ZiMining