By Staff Reporter
MINES Minister Zhemu Soda has suspended all small-scale mining operations due to incessant rains currently being received across the country.
In a statement released by his ministry on Monday, Soda expressed fear that continued mining operations in the middle of the rainy season was risking loss of lives and equipment.
His decision comes barely a week after 15 miners were trapped at Redwing Mine in Manicaland after one of its shafts fell through. All the 15 were found alive.
“The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development would like to advise all miners, large scale, medium scale, and small scale in particular artisanal miners across the country that the onset of the rainy season brings with it grave dangers and risks that are a threat to lives and potential loss of equipment and damage to mines,” said Soda.
“During the rainy season we experience heightened risks in the form of flooding, drowning, weakened ground leading to fall and ground subsidence as well as slime dam breaches which unfortunately lead to loss of lives.
“As a precaution, small-scale artisanal miners are advised to completely stop mining altogether and resume when the rains stop.”
Zimbabwe has been receiving above-average rains in most parts of the country.
Added Soda: “It should be noted that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Inspectors shall be out in full force to ensure that there is compliance with all governance requirements failure of which punishment will be imposed.”
With artisanal and small-scale miners contributing the largest proportion of Zimbabwe’s gold deliveries, monthly deposits are expected to be heavily affected by the suspension.