Mining companies urged to embrace mine rescue teams

Mining companies were urged to have fully equipped Mine Rescue Teams to safeguard the health and safety of workers in their various occupations within the mining industry.

By Bronfenbrenner Torubanda

Addressing several mine delegates from various mining companies in Zimbabwe on Friday,during the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe Annual General Meeting (AGM) outgoing president of the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe,Vavarirai Mawhire said mine rescue teams are crucial.

He said the establishment of Mine Rescue Teams was a crucial measure since this would ensure the safety of mine workers and the reduction of mine fatalities.

“Mine rescue teams are very crucial to the operations of each mine as this ensures that the lives of workers are safeguarded and in the event of any accidents these teams will help in reducing mine fatalities first by saving human lives, infrastructure and mine equipment”, said Mahwire.

He added that the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe had significantly helped in the reduction of mine fatalities and managed to significantly save human lives.

‘Over the years, the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe has helped several mines in rescuing their workers like in the events of underground fire both at Renco Mine and Chakari mines where the association assisted  with their expertise in putting off the fire and evacuating the workers from the danger”, he said.

“We appreciate government efforts in pushing for legislation that ensures the need for well crafted policies and measures to safeguard the lives of workers”, he added.

The mineral economist and technical advisor for the Zimbabwe Chambers of Mines David Matyanga said plans to shift the training facilities at Shabani Mine to the Zimbabwe School of Mines were currently in progress so as to boost the impact of Mine rescue teams across the country.

“We will move the training facilities currently at Shabani Mine to The Zimbabwe school of mines in order to efficiently benefit the whole mining fraternity with the necessary equipment, skills and technical expertise in a bid to come up with a fully resourced training center”, said Matyanga.

Mining companies which constitute the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe include Unki Mines, Zimplats , Mimosa, Gaths Mine, Renco Mine, Hwange Colliery Mine, Shabani Mine and Freda Rebbeca Gold Mine.

The Zimbabwe Mine Rescue Association was formed after the Hwange mine disaster of 1972 which claimed 426 lives. The Association was established under the auspicious of the Zimbabwe Chambers of Mines to safeguard the lives of workers in their different occupations within the mining fraternity and to do humanitarian work in the country by retrieving bodies of the deceased.