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Friday, May 24, 2024

Silobela-based mine doubles gold output in three years

Story by Tafara Chikumira

ZIMBABWE’S mining industry continues to receive a massive buy-in from small-scale miners amid indications that a Silobela-based mining firm has doubled its gold production output in the last three years with the community now enjoying the spin-offs from the proceeds accrued at the mining venture.

Located some 60 kilometres west of the city of Kwekwe is the Silver Comet mine which is taking full advantage of the Second Republic’s Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo/ Ilizwe Lakhiwa Ngabanikazi Balo mantra.

The mining firm, which has since diversified to hotel and tourism service provision in its quest to promote the government’s rural tourism aspect, now boasts of over 150 employees with several projects earmarked for the development of the community on the cards.

The manager of Silver Kings Gwandu Private Limited Company, Ms Rutendo Tachiona said, “We are very grateful for the amount of support we are getting from the community leaders and government at large. Through our expansion efforts, we are proud to be contributing plus or minus a kilogramme of gold bullion to Fidelity a month. We are also expanding our businesses through the construction of lodges and hotels. We are working with the community where we are drilling boreholes and classroom blocks at government schools as part of our corporate responsibility.”

The community is beginning to enjoy the spin-off benefits from the mining firm.

“I must say life was difficult back then. Through this mining firm, I have managed to get employment and as such I can fend for my family. What is of interest is that three-quarters of the people employed at this mine are locals. We are also enjoying several benefits as a community,” said a worker.

Another said, “When I joined this company, I knew absolutely nothing with regards to mining activities. Of late, I am proud that I have mastered several techniques through in-house training. I am proud to say I can as well go out there and start my own projects through the knowledge I have gained here.”

The government says it will continue to empower locals who have the vision to develop the country.

“What we have seen at this mine is a clear indication that indigenous people can deliver the much-needed results as we angle to reach an upper-middle-income society by 2030. This is the vision of our able leader President Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa. Let us remain resolute as we seek solutions to all our problems. Let me take this opportunity to warn those who use violence in mining communities. As a nation, there is no room for machete-wielding gangs as we want sanity in mining communities. Those who engage in such activities be warned,” said Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Owen Ncube.

The government had set the end of this year as the target for US$12 billion for the mining sector, where gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion with small-scale miners expected to play a major role for the target to be achieved.

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