By Amanda Mavhaza
Chest out, head and shoulders held high and a spring in their steps! That’s a picture of the organisers of the recently held Minex Mberengwa Expo, as they proudly relish its success.
In an interview with ZiMining, the Managing Director of MEJRKH Communications, Emily Hwengwere said that this years Minex Mberengwa was a big success as there was a wide representation of mining stakeholders.
“The Mberengwa Minex was a huge success as we had a wide representation of mining stakeholders which included small and large scale miners, Mberengwa RDC, the District Administrator, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF), Environmental Management Authority (EMA) ,National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and Golden Reef mining,” said Hwengwere.
Mining suppliers such as Boltgas and Oingival Technology educated miners on the technical side of safe mining practises.
“Boltgas encouraged the use of concentrators in gold processing as these are environmentally friendly and do not need mercury.
“RBZ also encouraged small scale miners to embrace financial inclusion through opening bank accounts as well as making use of plastic money, although there were also calls for the RTGS component to come as hard cash,” added Hwengwere.
Minex also emphasized on health and safety issues in small scale mining by raising awareness on dangers of using chemicals like mercury.
“Miners were discouraged from using mercury in gold processing because of its health risks that include negative effects on unborn babies and low sex drive. Borax was suggested as a mercury alternative as it is said to be less hazardous.
“Our concern at Minex is to take care of the well being of the miner as a whole ,hence in Mberengwa we brought in Nyaradzo Funerals who introduced their 20 group funeral cover policy which comes with immediate cover,” she said.
However, the percentage rate which is being used when selling gold has been cited as the major reason why gold deliveries are going down as miners prefer the 20%:80% retention rate.
“Miners were unequivocally clear that they are not happy with the 45%:55% retention rate when selling gold, and believe this is the major reason gold deliveries are going down because small scale miners prefer the 20%:80% retention rate that had earlier been proposed,” elaborated Hwengwere.
Minex is set to grow bigger and better next year as the organisers intend to introduce Minex workshops in conjunction with specific suppliers to provide specific technical opportunities for suppliers to educate miners on their various products and services and increase their uptake.