By Nhau Mangirazi
Government should be strategic in supervising extraction of minerals as they are non-renewable resources which should value add to communities.
Speaking during the 2021 budget consultation meeting in Karoi on Tuesday Hurungwe district development coordinator Andrew Tizora said it is imperative that mineral extraction gets its value for the communities where they are extracted.
Tizora said, ‘‘If we are reckless the country will end up with a shell of a country with nothing to show for it. Of late we have witnessed local partnerships where minerals are extracted and exported raw materials for processing outside Hurungwe territory without an idea how much value do these minerals cost,’
He blamed heavy machinery used in extracting the minerals but destroys the roads that are never rehabilitated.
Of late Chinese ‘investors’ have destroyed forests around Mashonaland West among others
He added, ‘‘The heavy machinery uses our roads from mineral source to exit point but wear and tear of road infrastructure has not be addressed affecting those villagers failing to see the benefits of mineral rich areas they occupy. Government should seriously consider the generosity it has offered to the so called investors that have left scars of depleted road networks in the mining sector. We have to be strategic on how we exploit these resources and make bold statements against abuse,’
However, Mashonaland West chairperson for Zimbabwe Mines Federation Chiedza Chipangura called on speedy amendment of Mines and Mineral Act to enable the treasury to budget specifically towards artisanal mining to access equipment, consumables, safety, training and working capital.
Chipangura said, ‘There is need to fund the explosives manufacturing plants to reduce importation bill. Hurungwe boosts of untapped gemstones that is extraction is fully funded, value addition can be done creating employment women and youths,’
She revealed that the gemstone industry has a potential of earning of USD$1 billion annually.