Metallon Corporation subsidiary, Mazowe Mining Company on Monday announced plans to resume underground shaft operations, stopped in 2019 after an invasion of its minefields by artisanal miners.

The artisanal miners have stopped operations following a recent government directive for them to cease their activities during the current rain season.

In a statement, the company said it would reintroduce shaft mining and rehabilitate its mining areas.

“This step is necessary to ensure that mining is conducted safely, thereby averting loss of life and injury to miners and protecting local communities and the environment.

“Consequently, MMC is ending all unsafe near-surface mining in favour of more secure operations,” the company said.

“Underground shaft operations will be safer for miners and the community. It will also contribute more to the national fiscus and boost supporting industries.”

The miner said the decision to resume underground mining is in response to recent pronouncements by the government advocating safe and sustainable mining.

“We are aware that these necessary measures to enforce responsible mining have faced resistance from some miners.

“Such actions prevent MMC’s efforts to rehabilitate mining pits and pave the way for safe mining,” said the miner.

During the rainy season, Zimbabwe experiences heightened risks in the form of flooding, drowning, weakened ground leading to fall and ground subsidence which often lead to loss of lives in mines.

To mitigate mining accidents, the ministry of mines ordered small scale artisanal miners to stop mining and resume when the rains stop.