ZMF Vice President Lindiwe Mpofu says the miners’ body is working to assist women miners get a foothold in the mining industry through various initiatives.
She was speaking during a virtual conference organised by YAFM and Great Dyke TV this Friday and attended by various players and stakeholders including representatives from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Environmental Management Agency. Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association and the CEO of the Women’s Bank Dr Mandas Marikanda.
“Some work has been done in terms of bettering the situation, specifically towards empowering women. Our organisation participated in meetings with the Ministry of Mines (and Mining Development) to discuss EPOs and subsequently after that meeting and several other meetings 25 EPOs were granted, the first ever since 1994.
“The positive step will see miners being able to negotiate access to mining blocks with the EPO holders within the areas that are not being utilised. They will be granted access to the geological reports after yearly exploration completion is done and the release of the actual blocks at the end of the three year EPO.
Mpofu said women will be granted access to mining blocks and ZMF is lobbying for more milling centres for the convenience of women miners adding that ZMF has forged partnerships with banking institutions to cater for the financial needs of women miners.
Women’s Bank CEO Dr. Mandas Marikanda said they have decided to focus on the areas of the value chain where they can support women and create a woman with power.
“The Women’s Bank has been in the mining landscape in its short period of existence. We have had our good share of challenges and we have decided as a bank when we are learning the ropes to focus on these mining value chains which can easily support the women.
“We have noted the different challenges at the different levels of each value chain and most are struggling with capacity to extract their minerals in the mining landscape. I am happy to say that we have been giving loans in the form of assets that they require and these assets include compressors and different kinds of equipment,” she said.
Liberty Mugadza of EMA called on small scale miners to rehabilitate the environment while Manele Mpofu from ZELA underscored the need to protect the environment from harmful mining methods.
Tatenda Mudzamiri, the Acting Deputy Director Mining Research, value Addition, and Beneficiation made an informative presentation on the topic Acquiring and registering a mining claim: processes and procedures.