Teveta to impart more ASMs with mining skills
By Deborah Manda
Technical entrepreneurial and vocational training authority (Teveta) has said that it will develop small scale miners by imparting them with skills and knowledge on sustainable mining practices as a way of assisting the miners to make more profits while sparing the environment from damage.
Speaking at Mzuzu Artisanal Mining Training Centre during the graduation ceremony for the first intake of miners who completed a two weeks training programme, Acting Chief Executive Officer for Teveta Wilson Makulumiza Nkhoma said his organisation is ready to support artisanal and small scale miners (ASMs) with training in proper ways of mining.
One area that Teveta has not developed is mining because we believed that there were no minerals in the country, but now we want to expose ASMs to the best practices of mining that do not destroy the environment,
He said it was high time ASMs graduated from primitive mining methods which destroy precious stones in so doing reducing their prices on the market, and adopt modern sustainable mining practices.
During the ceremony the trainees asked Teveta to also provide the training centre with value addition equipment and in response the acting CEO said that Teveta will engage Ministries of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining and Industry and Trade.
Value addition is very important in every trade and we are going to look into that with relevant Ministries but first we have to see high quality products that can compete internationally,
Makulumiza commended small miners for their interest to make use of the training centre to develop professionally.
The Department of Mines and Geological survey also have done a commendable job in the opening of the centre as they are offering their technical expertise to small scale miners,
Nkhoma therefore urged the trainees who had completed the training to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired.
Teveta Service Centre Manager for Northern Region Conceptor Kachoka said she was happy that their dream of opening a mining training centre has materialised.
This is just a tip of the iceberg. Other modules are coming. There is a need for a fully fledged workshop with a lot of equipment so that trainees can learn how to add value to their minerals, and part of it is already in our budget,
Kachoka added that they decided to come up with the training centre as they noted that small scale miners were not using proper methodologies of mining which was contributing to environmental degradation.
Chief Mining Engineer in the Department of Mines responsible for the North George Maneya, who is also the coordinator for the training centre, said the training taught the miners skills in the exploration and mining which will help them grow economically as they will now be able to spend less energy to identify targeted minerals.
We taught them geology, mining and the environment and now they can spend less to identify a mineral deposit,
Maneya said it is now imperative for the miners to adopt mechanised mining and asked the miners to work with the Mines, Geological Survey and Environmental Affairs Departments to source funds for the advanced equipment.
As part of the course, Maneya said the miners were schooled on the requirement is to fill the pit after mining because if the pits are not filled they pose a great danger to the environment and the community.
Chairperson for Mzuzu Artisanal Training Centre Jerrifton Gama who was also a trainee thanked Teveta for the initiative saying it will contribute a lot in developing the ASM sector.
Trainees came with the interest to learn the skills and knowledge of mining. Now they know how to open a pit and the case is not like before when miners were just mining anyhow which was very expensive and environmentally unfriendly,
Before graduation day when the trainees received their certificates of attendance, they had a field day to Katcheni mine in Kafukule in Mzimba where they went through practical lessons.
The Mzuzu Artisanal Mining Training Center is housed at the Department of Mines in Luwinga.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 51 (July 2017).