Rescue underway for trapped miners in Chegutu

By ZBC Reporter
SMALL- scale and artisanal miners have appealed for government help to mechanise their operations to reduce mining accidents at their operations.
The appeal comes following a visit by Mines and Mining Development Minister, Honourable Winston Chitando to Task Mining Syndicate in Chegutu to assess the ongoing rescue efforts of five miners trapped underground.
Almost five people are trapped underground here after a shaft collapsed at Task Mine here in Chegutu with Mines and Mining Development Minister Hon Winston Chitando visiting the site to assess the ongoing rescue operations.
The collapse of the mine was allegedly triggered by a weak surface due to unregulated shaft sinking with too many shafts close together.
“Shafts are almost 10 meters close to each other instead of the recommended 30 meters and the miners are using ropes where the shaft is even 100meters deep instead of limiting the use of ropes to just 30meters, so this increase later the risk of collapse,” he said.
The fate of the five miners remains unknown but Mines and Mining Development Minister, Honourable Chitando promised to expedite rescue operations.
“We are hopeful that the miners are still alive and will provide the necessary support to ensure the success of those rescue operations,” he said.
Zimbabwe Mining Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya appealed for government to mechanise mining operations of small-scale players to reduce the prevalence of accidents.
“We need what is happening in the agricultural to also take place in mining where farmers are being equipped. Our own miners need equipment so that they conduct operations safely,” she said.
The small-scale mining sector has been rocked by safety issues with over ten people have lost their lives at Battlefields Mine in Kadoma last year.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Polite Kambamura and Chegutu Central National Assembly member, Honourable Webster Shamu were part of the delegation.