STAKEHOLDERS in the mining industry must ensure there is no loss of human life at work as well as protect the environment and all animal life, the Zimbabwe Mining Safety, Health and Environmental Council (ZIMSHEC) has said.
In a statement after a mine accident at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Manicaland province last week, ZIMSHEC spokesperson Philemon Mokuele said the growth of Zimbabwe’s mining industry would be incomplete if the health and safety of miners were not part of the process.
“Our mining should uphold all safe mining practices and we should be seen to be taking part in that. We applaud the response that rescued all the miners at Redwing Mine, but hope the accident provides us with a lesson on the importance of safety precautions during extraction of ore which is the most dangerous part,” he said.
“Our organisation noted with concern the accident at Redwing Mine in Manicaland where there was a serious threat to human lives. We also noticed, obviously with joy, that in the end no human life was lost, no gold or mineral is worth more than human life.”
Mokuele said unsafe occupational and health practices were hazardous to workers.
“To achieve the best and safe mining practices, we call for ‘responsible mining’. All mining industry chains and stakeholders must adhere to proper workmanship which follows that safety of miners will be guaranteed,” he said.
Mokuele urged manufacturers of mining equipment to supply quality and safe products to miners who should, in turn, protect domestic and wildlife in the areas they operate.
“Unnecessary cutting down of trees and burning of grass was part of poor mining practices all miners must guard against,” he added.
According to a Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe survey published in November last year, 110 fatalities were recorded at the country’s mines between January and September, an increase from 106 accidents recorded during the same period of 2022.
ZIMSHEC plans to roll out several workshops to educate miners on safe mining practices.