Zimbabwe government wants to see the resuscitation of all mining operations and proper exploitation of natural resources to ensure the economy is turned around, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Speaking after a tour of Delta Gold Zimbabwe’s Eureka Mine in Guruve and Jumbo Mine in Mazowe on Wednesday, Minister Mutsvangwa said all minerals should be processed and exported to earn the country the much-needed foreign currency.
“At Eureka Gold Mine there are a lot of promises for us as a nation to achieve the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, but the situation prevailing here at Jumbo Mine is unacceptable.
“We are told that the former owners, Metallon Corporation just abruptly stopped operations leaving about 5,000 people without jobs. A free for all situation is prevailing here and people are coming from all over the country to mine the gold. In short, there is a gold rush at this mine, which needs to be sorted out,” she said.
“It is up to Government to make sure that they look into the ownership of the mine for it to be resuscitated. The gold being mined here should benefit the whole country. We don’t have medicines in our hospitals, we want to resuscitate our roads and there are a lot of things to be done.
“Look at the lives of the people, the pain that is coming with the reforms, so we should make sure that there is money to alleviate the suffering. The Second Republic wants to make sure that all our resources are properly exploited.”
She said it is sad to note that former employees at the mine have gone for almost three years without getting their dues.
“People who used to survive through this mine were left with nothing to do. People have not been paid for three years so you can imagine the amount of disorder here,” she said.
“It is our interest as Government to make sure that people at Jumbo Mine have their welfare looked into. The mine should be resuscitated.”
Metallon Corporation last year put Jumbo (Mazowe) Mine under care and maintenance citing viability problems, resulting in artisanal miners flocking the area.
Several lives have been lost after the artisanal miners were trapped in the mine shafts.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the prevailing situation at Jumbo Mine was totally unacceptable.
“There is a problem here without any doubt. When we came here last year, there was talk of the resuscitation of the mine, but the wheels have fallen off. The situation that is prevailing here is totally unacceptable.
“Government will ensure that there is speedy resolution of issues that are derailing proper mining here.
“There is so much potential here. There are 5,000 people whose livelihoods depend on this mine, so the free for all situation is unacceptable. We have a good resource which can be mined at a fairly low cost and it should be fully exploited.”