Mozambique - AfricaWorks
Gold miners and millers seek to create jobs
HARARE, Zimbabwe --- In the savannah of Zimbabwe, just dig 12 meters and you’ll find quartz filled with gold veins and diamonds. From villages across the country, generations of miners from indigenous tribes have grown up digging for the embedded gold. “These are the most diligent miners you’ll meet. They’ll always find the gold,” says Roxanne de Graaf of Partners Worldwide.
Mining over 40% of the country’s gold, small-scale miners in Zimbabwe operate on a micro-scale, digging into quartz from rudimentary mineshafts with copper wire tools. These miners, who own gold mining claims, have limited access to a mill that will treat them as a business partner, and work with little to no safety precaution.
Once a week, miners travel up to 8 kilometers together in a tractor transporting their rough quartz to the milling site. There, a multiple-step process is applied to crushing, pounding, mixing with water and filtering gold out of the quartz. To ensure they receive an accurate payment for their gold, these miners remain at the mill—sometimes for days—to protect the fruits of their labor.
A group of successful business professionals in Zimbabwe feel called to walk alongside these small-scale miners and improve the business landscape. “Most clients have no real training in mining, but grew up in mines,” says Wonder Saira, CEO of Custom Milling and Mines, who sees new opportunities for increased income and job creation throughout his country. To improve their income, Saira is helping people expand their knowledge in mining by working together with better tools, safer practices, and access to the market. Partners Worldwide’s strategic partner, AfricaWorks, will be connecting miners to mills with fair business practices.
Getting fair prices will ensure an increase in income, which equips people to send their children to school, purchase medicines and food, and contribute to their church and community. Equipment loans, expertise, and partnership increase mine safety and productivity, while Christian managers model and communicate faith to miners and employees.
“Our belief is that in any society, you can’t look at just yourself,” Saira describes. “You have to give to other people, and help them to achieve their life goals—to do something you know will benefit other people.”