Miners strike deal To procure mining explosives on discount
THE Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) has entered into an agreement with two mining explosives suppliers to offer a discount facility for one of the major components used in mineral extraction.
ZMF vice president Mr Ishmael Kaguru said the organisation had set sights on achieving the 10 tonnes gold production target set by Treasury this year.
He, however, said the feat can only be achieved or surpassed if the Government was to revise some of its levies and fees charged by various authorities which are deemed to be exorbitant and impinging on miners’ efforts to improve production.
A small-scale miner is required to pay $1 500 for registration and $8 000 for a milling licence. Use of explosives is pegged at $1 000. Environment Management Agency (EMA) also requires an environmental impact assessment certificate before mining activities commences which costs between $3 000 and $10 000.
EMA also requires two certificates on hazardous chemical and waste management which range from $500 to $1 000.
Rural District Councils also charge between $200 to over $1 000 on miners.
“In the productive nature of mining there is an issue of explosives. The licence to acquire them is very expensive at $1000 thus the Ministry (of Mines and Mining Development) should look into that very seriously. For miners to produce ore they first use explosives. They may drill by hand but they will need explosives at the end thus it’s a major component in production,” said Mr Kaguru.
He said ZMF has since entered into an agreement to procure the mining explosives with two suppliers at a discount.
“We have since negotiated with two suppliers and they have agreed to sell us explosives at a discount through supplying associations with members purchasing them through their groupings. However, the magazine boxes to store the explosives will be approved by the Ministry and the associations should have a person with a blasting licence.
“The reason we want to do this is that most explosives were being sold illegally but the miners had no choice but to buy the products from illegal traders so as to enhance their production. In many cases their handling posed a hazard because some of the miners ferried them (explosives) using public transport,” said Mr Kaguru.
He also said ZMF was working on ensuring that each mining association was provided with a compressor.
“We want to work on the issue of compressors for each association so that their members are able to increase production. We don’t want a situation whereby we are always dependant on Government. We intend to work with the resources at our disposal,” said Kaguru.
He said the Government should expedite the release of the $20 million gold development initiative facility for small-scale miners.
The facility was announced by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Dr John Mangudya during his presentation of the Mid-Term Monetary Policy statement last month.
“The RBZ promised to disburse $20 million. We are still waiting for that funding and we hope we will get it in a short space of time. If we get the support we will achieve our target because this sector is not affected by drought like agriculture.
“We also need to come up with various programmes to educate our miners to ensure that they effectively and efficiently harness mineral resources to turnaround the country’s economy. It should also be known that the mining sector is currently the biggest employer in the country,” said Mr Kaguru. @BiancaMlilo