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AUSTRALIA, one of the world’s leading mining powerhouses, has pledged to empower small-scale miners in Zimbabwe to enable them increase contributions to the mainstream economy.

The country aims to achieve that through a series of courses to that will culminate in the informal miners regularise their operations.

A letter the Secretary of Development Cooperation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Zimbabwe Australian Embassy, Daniel Kark, addressed to Zimbabwe Artisanal and Small Scale Council President, Wellington Takavarasha, noted that the country has made available money the International Mining for Development to train the miners.

The letter was made available to CAJ News.

ldquoThe Australian Government, through the International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC), funds and organises a programme of short courses in Australia on mining and development-related topics,rdquo read parts of the letter.

Kark added the courses were aimed at providing a flexible and intensive learning experience for participants to gain knowledge and skills aligned with their professional priorities and responsibilities.

Some of the courses would include Mineral Policy and Economics which will be held in Perth in June and July.

ldquoThe course will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of minerals policy that inform regulatory frameworks and economics in the resource sector,rdquo Kark said.

Another course, sponsored with be Master-class on Resource Governance, is scheduled for Brisbane during the same period as the one in Perth.

ldquoThe Master-class will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of governance in the resources sector.

“It will address principles of policy and regulatory frameworks in key areas across the life cycle of mining operations from exploration through to closure, and also the role of various stakeholder groups in governance arrangements in local, national and international contexts,rdquo said Kark.

Kark said the courses would include lectures, interactive exercises, in open forum discussions and interact with other IM4DC participants and alumni.

ldquoParticipants will also participate in field trips where they will interact with local government departments and visit mining operations.rdquo

Small – scale miners operations in Zimbabwe have been dogged by lack of equipment and mining knowledge resulting in reduced output.

They have also been fingered in the smuggling of minerals.

Source : CAJ News Agency