THE Mines and Mining Development ministry will soon provide milling centres for small scale gold miners to enhance their capacity.
Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa told Senate last Thursday that the move will empower small scale gold miners and enable them to sell their gold as near as possible.
“We will start with Zhombe and provide services such as milling and we also want to assist the small scale miners with the issue of environmental impact assessment and have geologists from the ministry helping them,” said Chidhakwa.
Chidakwa said geologists and metallurgist would be put in place at all provinces and some have small service centres housed under Fidelity Printers so that small scale miners can sell gold to places that are close to them.
The minister said the ministry was experiencing problems with small-scale gold miners in places like Kwekwe where improperly sealed pillars had been left holding ceilings at Phoenix mine.
“Small scale miners go and destroy the pillars and end up presenting themselves with the risk of the entire ceiling falling on them. I know it has been also happening in Kadoma,” he said.
Chidhakwa said they were also working on a facility to provide small-scale equipment to miners.
“They have complained about the ability to go down the ground and it is something we need to deal with.
“The recommendations by my engineers are that we help them with motor driven buckets and provide them with credit facilities. They are small scale because they move 30kg buckets, but if they were able to move a tonne they will become sizeable miners,” he said.
Small-scale gold miners in Zimbabwe account for over 10% of total gold output in the country every year.
Gold output for the first 11 months of 2013 stood at 13 651 kg.