Zimbabwe embarked on the Land Reform in 2000 to correct the historical imbalances that were created by colonisation.The land reform was mainly anchored on giving the locals the land to participate in the agricultural sector which was previously dominated by 4% of the populace which were owning about 80% of national land.Most people viewed Land Reform as Agro centred but many who have had access to visit some of the farms which were repossessed did discover some mine shafts on some of the farms meaning the former owners were actually making more money through illegal mining as minerals do possess more value than crops.
University of Zimbabwe’s faculty of Engineering has a department of Mining whose motto is “its either mined or farmed”.Many of the world’s resources are either mined or farmed.Silicon Valley and Shenzhen which do produce majority of world’s semi conductors rely on mining which is key sector in the world’s development .
Zimbabwe has favourable mining laws which locals are not taking advantage of,just to have a prospectus license one has to part with ZWL$1000 and submit his or her copy of ID,from there one has to engage a pegger who can charge between US$150-350 to help in the process,once the pegging is done,one has to pay ZWL$1000 to register the claim.The Mines Ministry then issues one with a certificate valid for 2 years which is renewable.The owner of the claim has to do an Environmental Impact Assessment which EMA will certify.Zimbabwe possesses over 60 minerals of economic value and the mining sector can revive the economy and locals have to participate in this lucrative sector.The advent of Chinese made machines like Hammer Mills,Jaw Crushers ,Chilean Tanks,Compressors,Generators,Mineral Moss etc have made mining easier for locals as the machines are ideal for small scale mining.The bulk of gold deliveries to Fidelity in the last 2 years have come from small scale miners.
Zimbabwe has semi precious stones like Red Rubies ,Green and Blue Beryl ,Amethysts,Green and Blue Tourmaline etc which locals can exploit and all they need to do is to own a claim and they can sell them through MMCZ.Lithium is the latest mineral which is set to dominate the world automobile sector within the next 5-10 years due to advent of electric cars and we have Lithium deposits in Mutoko,Mudzi,Goromonzi,Bikita etc and our local guys are nowhere to be seen .
Kanyemba region has Uranium deposits,Zambezi Valley has oil deposits,Lupane has gas just to name a few areas and the potential that Zimbabwe has in terms of mineral wealth is immense but like the bible says “My people perish due to lack of knowledge” this is a case for us Zimbabweans as we don’t know the wealthy we do possess but wait for foreigners to come and exploit them then they employ us.Mining wealth transcends generations .
Our university,polytechnics and Zimbabwe School of Mines students and graduates must help us unlock this huge potential which we have by volunteering to offer expert knowledge to members of community who might require their expertise thus empowering each other as as the government can only create enabling environment which the locals must seize and cannot be involved in literally everything.The most important thing every Zimbabwean must bear in mind is “Its either mined or farmed” thus how crucial land is to the survival and development of humanity.
Saxon Zvina writes in his individual capacity and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org /Twitter:saxonzvina2