Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
The government has directed the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) to restore sanity at Peace Mine in Silobela by ensuring a proper management structure is put in place.
Lack of proper systems and corporate governance structures at the mine have raised accountability issues amid growing fears that some gold could be smuggled out of the country.
ZMF is a body that represents the interest of small-scale miners and artisanal miners in the country.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Fred Moyo who toured the mine on Wednesday said ZMF will be mandated to oversee the management of the mine by appointing a management team that will run its operations.
The management will report to a board of trustees.
“This is a new concept of formalising small-scale miners and this is the first attempt of coming up with a model where we’re having a mine owned by the community.
“We’ve therefore mandated ZMF to put in place a management structure with a mine manager at the top and all the supporting staff whose duty would be to take charge of the day-to-day affairs of the mine,” said Moyo.
“We had a situation here (mine) where the board of trustees was in charge of mining operations and we’ve put a stop to that.”
ZMF president Apollonia Munzverengwi said a management structure with clearly defined roles will be in place at Peace Mine by the end of the month.
“As an overseer of the project we’ll have a management before the end of the month that will run the mine as mandated by the minister. We’ve also asked the board of trustees to come up with their own budget of their sitting allowances,” she said.
ZMF has already installed a gold milling plant at Peace Mine through a partnership with a local company, Yagden Engineering.
Peace Mine is run by the Silobela Community Development Trust.
Youths in the area take turns to extract gold at the mine under the government’s programme to empower the youths.
Peace Mine which has over 1,000 artisanal miners produces an average of seven kilogrammes of gold per month.
The mine is being used by the government as a pilot project to come up with a model to formalise small-scale and artisanal miners in the country.
Last year, the mine produced 41 kilogrammes of gold.