Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) has entered into a US$100 million training partnership with United Kingdom-based Bestfield Consulting to enhance safety and health in mines aimed at reducing unnecessary loss of life.
ZMF spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi said that funding under the deal will be channelled towards training of small scale miners and facilitation of other existing safety and health programmes run by the federation.
“We have entered into a US$100 million partnership with Bestfield Consulting towards training small scale miners on safety and health across the country. The aim of the partnership is to reduce accidents and loss of lives in the mines,” he said.
“We want the miners to acquire necessary safety knowledge about prevention of accidents some of which are fatal.
“Statistics show that 17 small scale miners have died since January at Mazowe Mine while several deaths have also been recorded at Metallon’s Shamva Mine. In February an accident at Battlefields’ Cricket Mine claimed 24 lives and such loss of lives is worrisome and therefore the need to embrace the training aimed at curbing loss of lives in the mining industry.”
Mr Mangisi said going forward the organisation will hold various training programmes for small scale miners across the country.
“Bestfield has committed itself towards safety of artisanal miners. The money will also help facilitate various programmes that are carried out by ZMF. The partnership basically came at a right time when ZMF is working hard in ensuring that safety of artisanal miners is prioritised,” he said.
Recently, ZMF sealed a $1 million facility with Pablo’s Investments, in a deal that will benefit more than 200 miners.
The federation also applied for a fuel licence from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) so that small- scale miners are able to carry out their mining activities without being delayed by fuel queues.