Gweru (New Ziana) – The Midlands province has recorded 61 mine related deaths since February, 2020, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Larry Mavima has said.
He said lack of safety precautions was the biggest contributor to the increase of mine related deaths in the province.
“Whilst the small scale or artisanal mining sectors continue to attract the majority of people, lack of effective organization, administrative, monitoring and safety precautions continue to be a menace.
“The province has experienced a total number of 61 mine related deaths since February to date and the number continues to rise every month,” he said.
Mavima called for the decentralization of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
“The Ministry of Mines and Mining development is the only ministry that is not decentralized by district yet Midlands is the resource centre of the country.
“Discussions with the Ministry of Mines have been held which will see two new centres eventually opening at district level as soon as resource permits,” he said.
The province, Mavima said, plans to establish a gold service centre in each gold producing district in the province.
He said he wanted to see Midlands’ contribution of gold production from the estimated 40 percent to 50 percent through reorganizing, formalizing and equipping of small scale gold miners.
Mavima said a new explosive manufacturing company in Kwekwe – Intrachem – which will be commissioned soon, will eliminate the importation of explosives for the mining sector.
The Province Economic Development Strategy will also feature the phased resuscitation of Ziscosteel company in Redcliff.
Mavima said the Midlands province will resolutely work towards implementation of necessary interventions towards the realization of Vision 2030.
Midlands province is also pursuing measures to generate broad support for all programmes to be rolled out towards promoting socio-economic transformation in the province, through the Provincial Economic Development Strategy for 2020-2025.
Mavima said programs that will feature in the Province Economic Development Strategy include the establishment of a Provincial Investment Corporation to be used as a vehicle towards the creation of new business ventures such as mining, processing of beef products and canning among others.