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Small scale miners urged to create links with mining firms

SMALL scale miners will have to make use of this year’s Mine Entra to create synergies with established mining firms as the international exhibition kicks off in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company (ZITF) Board Chairman, Bekithemba Nkomo, said  small scale miners have made significant contribution to the country’s  economy.

He highlighted the small scale mining sector was likely to play a much meaningful role if they were capacitated on how to fully exploit opportunities presented to them.

“We have discussed with the small scale mining members, we have tried to acquire what they use and need. We have went on to look for those exhibitors and to an extent we have succeeded and believe we are going in the right direction,”Nkomo said during a presser held on Tuesday.

The ZITF board chair noted some integration between the big and small scale miners was taking place and these two had been creating linkages to work together.

“Which is why we have two different conferences to address the different needs of these groups. The bigger mining houses and small scale miners have different needs and we are trying to have those different needs addressed. In some instances we have seen bigger mining mining house work with small scale miners. I don’t want to specifically name them but in Gwanda -Colleen Bawn, we have seen those two working together due to the interactions that would have happened in Mine Entra. We hope this year some other mining players will pick up on this and adopt methodologies that will see them working together.  Although we are seeing partnerships, it is not happening at a faster rate countrywide though we could be wrong about that,” he said.

ZITF General Manager, Noma Ndlovu, weighed in saying a lot of exhibitors were recognising the rise of small to medium enterprises and artisan miners and they have been taking steps to create linkages with them.

“We have more exhibitions that cater for small scale miners sector than in the previous years. One would recognise that last year was better than the previous year,”she said.

This year Mine Entra celebrates 20 years in existence and the ZITF Board Chair said over the past two decades, the exhibition has grown and evolved into a one stop shop for market intelligence, image building, networking and business development for the represented industries.

“As for evaluation of the exhibition we ask all of exhibitors and some of our visitors to give an appraisal of the whole act. We ask them to rank or rate the Mine Entra and they shall consider it whether it was a success or not. To a larger extent the Mine Entra has been successful, however very few commit to the real value they would have struck and the nature of the relationship, since it is a question of transactions that take place over a period of time and it is not easy to quantify that,” Nkomo said.

“160 directors have reserved space so far at the Mine Entra. Foreign exhibitors will be coming from China, Germany and South Africa while bookings to date amount to 4 723 square metres fairing well than last years 4457 square metres. Exhibits will be housed in Hall 4 as well as external sites and pavilions around the hall.”

Nkomo said tomorrow, at the Mine Entra Conference, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidakwa and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa will make their presentations.

“The conference will address topical issues such as fiscal incentives necessary to support mining linkages and overall growth of the ming sector, empowerment models that support community development and a discussion on the mining policy and enablers to optimal development of the industry.

“On Thursday, the Joint Suppliers and Producers Conference will take place. On Friday the Zimbabwe Miners Federation will have their annual small scale and artisinal miners conference.

The exhibition will be officially opened by Minister Chidakwa on Thursday at the Mine Entra at 20 years Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony,” he said.

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