Impending Disaster: Concerns Mount as Mazowe Underground Mine Prepares to Reopen


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DT Correspondent

Mazowe Mining Company (MMC), a subsidiary of Metallon Gold Corporation has announced plans to resume underground operations at its Jumbo Mine in Mazowe.

However, miners and industry experts are raising alarm bells, warning that the move could lead to dire consequences rather than improved mining practices.

According to Danford Suntile, Chairperson of Miners for Economic Development, while the decision to reintroduce shaft mining and rehabilitate mining areas may aim to enhance safety, the ground reality paints a worrisome picture of a struggling miner lacking the necessary capacity.

Suntile highlighted the undesirable conditions existing underground at Mazowe Gold fields, citing incidents such as the recent death of a miner during underground operations.

He expressed concern that the operations were being carried out by tributed scale miners, contrary to the announcement made by Metallon Gold regarding the resumption of operations.

“The decision by MMC to reopen underground operations at this time is highly questionable and far from convincing,” Suntile remarked.

“The state of the underground is far from desirable, with illegal miners having pillaged the pillars since 2018. Just two weeks ago, a miner lost his life underground, but they are denying his affiliation, labeling him as an illegal miner.”

Suntile further noted that the tarred road leading to the old dump or tailings from the shop had collapsed due to unstable ground conditions, further indicating the dangers of underground operations.

“The current state of the mine is a disaster, and MMC must seriously reconsider their stance. It mirrors the unfortunate events at Redwing Mine in Penalonga,” added Suntile.

The Mazowe mine currently hosts close to 20 small-scale miners operating on a contract basis.

MMC has stated its intention to cease “all unsafe near-surface mining” in favor of more secure operations.

However, the statement did not specify whether MMC would eliminate small-scale mining altogether, but rather focus on discontinuing unsafe operations.

The announcement by MMC regarding the commencement of underground operations did not provide a timeline but emphasized the closure of unsafe small-scale mining in favor of supposedly more secure practices.

Mazowe gold mine operations were halted in September 2018 due to significant operational challenges, leading to the mine being placed under administration for reconstruction.

Currently, the mine is in a state of care and maintenance.

In November 2022, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) President Ms Henrietta Rushwaya engaged with Metallon Gold to allocate some of its claims to small-scale miners, aiming to restore order to the operations that had been overrun by illegal miners.

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