Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Young Miners Foundation (YMF) is working around the clock to ensure that everything is in order for its academy in Zvishavane set to start operating in May, a move meant to expedite skills development and build professionalism among budding miners.
This comes at a time when most young small-scale and artisanal miners who lack skills are injured, trapped or die when mining shafts they will be working in collapse.
Young Miners Foundation (YMF) chief executive officer Mr Payne Kupfuwa said they were working on finalising everything for the young miners’ academy to be launched in May 2021.
“YMF is working around the clock to establish a Young Miners Academy to be launched in Zvishavane in May 2021.
“This will be a state-of-the-art institution created to accelerate knowledge and skills development transfer from budding young miners willing to equip themselves in order to professionally operate their mining and related projects,” said Mr Kupfuwa.
He said they were working on the modules and tutorials that would be undertaken by the students and their first enrolment would be done soon.
Mr Kupfuwa added:
“After training the students will be awarded certificates, but these certificates should be equipping certificates similar to the ones received at vocational training centres.
Lack of skills remains a major impediment to the desired growth of the mining industry, which is one of Zimbabwe’s key export sectors.”
He also said as a principle adopted in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic the organisation will continue holding educational and informative online meetings on monthly basis in 2021 going forward, with local and international renowned speakers discussing the future of mining.
Mr Kupfuwa also highlighted that they would continue to pursue funding for their Young Miners Rupemba Gold Processing Plant and the attempted number of gold mining projects in different chapters of the country were set to continue next year.
He said as part of efforts to attain their dream, YMF was moving in the direction of changing small-scale mining into a formal business.
“The young miners dream aims to create 21st century young mineral magnets as a stimulus to other productive enterprises. YMF continues to propagate more formal, responsible, environmentally friendly mining operations.
“It remains our conviction therefore that small scale mining should not be taken as a poverty driven initiative but a proper business enterprise,” he said.
Mr Kupfuwa further stated that the young miners revolving fund remains their primary goal and applauded the Treasury for backing them as outlined by the 2021 National Budget.
YFM subscribes to maximising revenue through mineral beneficiation and value addition in line with the National Reindustrialisation Policy, Sadc protocol on mining and Africa mining vision.
In the incoming economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy (NDS-1) that commences next year up to 2025, it is envisaged that small scale miner’s capacitation will be enhanced through the Mining Industry Loan Fund (MILF).