Reinforce mining shafts, small-scale miners told

SMALL-SCALE miners have been urged to reinforce their mine shafts to prevent them from collapsing due to the heavy rains that have weakened the ground.

Former Zimbabwe Miners Federation spokesperson Dosman Mangisi told NewsDay that artisanal and small-scale miners should practise safe mining and adhere to regulations to prevent mine accidents.

“It is important for artisanal miners to observe safety measures everytime,” Mangisi said.

“They should make sure they reinforce their mining shafts and by doing so, they prevent them from collapsing, especially during the rainy season. I also urge all players in the mining industry to abide by the laws of the sector as this will reduce accidents and create conducive working conditions.”

Zimbabwe has been plagued by mine disasters over the past few years, often resulting in fatalities.

Most of the accidents occur at illegally operated formerly disused mines, with a few happening at legally-run small-scale mines.

Zimbabwe Diamond and Mining Workers Union general-secretary Justice Chinhema said mine shafts should be reinforced to avoid loss of lives.

“However, this is not enough. Our mines are heavily panned by illegal miners, and there is need to invest in rebuilding them. There is need to carry out awareness campaigns on safe mining practices,” he said.

“Government needs to invest in this, and mine owners must also invest in building their mines in accordance with safety standards. Mine owners must not only concentrate on profits.”

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