ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources: Problems being faced by the Mining Industry in Zimbabwe
- Disinvestment by TNC after 1980 resulted in some mine closures and creation of ghost towns.
- For example are Kamative and Mhangura.
- Some mine closures are also as a result of mineral deposit exhaustion, examples are iron ore at Buchwa, tin at Kamativi and copper at Mhangura.
- Mine closures have resulted in loss of employment and viable means of livelihood for many former mine workers from neighboring countries.
- It has resulted in some of them to become destitutes and living in informal settlements.
- Where mines have been closed down there is also physical decay of infrastructure and abandoned buildings.
- Frequent accidents occur at work caused by unstable ground which causes rock falls or collapsing of shafts or gas explosions underground.
- An example is the Hwange mine disaster which claimed the lives of over 400 miners on the 6th of June 1972.
- There is also outdated equipment and shortage of foreign currency to import modern machinery.
- Reduced profit margin due to the requirements by ZESA for the payment of electricity bills in foreign currency for major exporting companies.
- High cost of upgrading technology and shortage of skilled manpower.
- Theft of gold and other precious stone.
- Fluctuating mineral prices on the world market due to competition from other producers and pressure from lobby groups.
- For example, the campaign against use of asbestos in developed countries has reduced exports of this material.
- Displacement of human of human settlements in areas where minerals are found for example Chiadzwa
- Political strife in these areas as people fight for minerals
- There is possibility of increased violence and crime as people form gangs and fight over territories in informal mines for example gold panners in Matebeleland and diamond miners in Chiadzwa
- Corruption and backroom deals that undermine the international integrity of the industry
To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page