Zvishavane villagers make money from Chrome
RURAL ZVISHAVANE–Gold has been the in-thing for ordinary people without sophisticated mining equipment.
Every layperson is into gold, but not anymore for villagers at Shauke Ward 3 and Mhondongori Ward 14 under Chief Mapanzure. They have broken new ground and are now working on chrome.
More than 70 villagers are now known to be working on old chrome sites and recovering the mineral for sale to Chinese companies. They earn between US$45 and US$60 if they deliver 21 x 20-litre buckets filled with Chrome.
This new trade started in 2018, and villagers said the activity has helped the community bust the effects of the current drought and create employment in an area where the unemployment rate is almost 100%. After picking the Chrome, the mineral is placed on the site in its graded tonnage where the Chinese buy it using their tippers.
Ward 3 councillor Martin Mapfumo said villagers are earning an average of US$30 to US$45 per tonne. When The Mirror visited one of the sites, there were more than 30 people of different ages ranging from 17 to 60 who were picking Chrome. It takes five days for a chrome worker to fill up a tonne of Chrome.
Chrome is a mineral common in the Great Dyke, a mineral-rich belt that stretches across Zimbabwe from Mhondoro’s Ngezi platinum to areas around Mimosa. The mineral is used for making stainless steel, and the biggest miners in Zimbabwe currently are Chinese Tshingshan Holding Group which makes 1.2 million tonnes annually.
Violet Maphosa, who is involved in the activities appealed to the Government to help the villagers and allocate them Chrome Claims so that they can mine formally and legally.
“The site has become our means of survival, but it is not producing much as it will take 3 to 4 days to reach a tonne which will see us earn at least US$50 if the mineral is top grade. This has become a critical line for our survival”, said Maphosa.https://masvingomirror.com/