Shortage of mining consumables affecting gold output

By Sifiso Sibanda

The small-scale gold mining sector has lamented the shortage of key consumables which is affecting the production of the yellow metal.

Gold mining remains key to the national economy as it brings in the much needed foreign currency, with the small scale miners taking the lead in the production of the yellow metal.

However, the small scale miners have reduced production due to shortages of consumables such as capped fuses.

In an interview with ZBC News, Zimbabwe Miners Federation spokesperson, Mr Dosman Mangisi said the mining sector has not been spared from the impact of Covid-19 as some of the mining consumables are imported from China and India.

“Capped fuses which are used on explosives are in short supply, and this has affected the mining sector in a big way. As we speak, most miners have nothing and have scaled-down. This has an impact on the economy given that gold is key to foreign currency generation. The Ministry of Mines and that of Finance have to do something by capacitating the local manufacturer so that there is near adequate production of these fuses,” he said.

Mr Mangisi said this setback comes at a time when the country is working on its readmission to the lucrative London Bullion Market which guarantees access to the key gold market.

Small scale miners are in the process of moving from hammer and chisel operations to highly mechanised systems of extraction and processing of the yellow metal, hence the availability of the key consumables will be critical in boosting output.

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