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Women in mining face challenges accessing capital

Zela legal officer, Effort Dube, expressed hope that the academy will assist women in mining.

WOMEN in mining are facing challenges in accessing capital as well as obtaining licences which affect their participation in the sector, players have said.

This emerged during a training academy for artisanal and small-scale miners hosted by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) with support from Christian Aid Zimbabwe and AfricaMaVal.

The academy was held in Bulawayo under the theme: Making Just Transition Inclusive for All: Empowering ASM to actively participate in the lithium value chain.

The objectives of the academy were to raise awareness on the legal frameworks that govern lithium mining and ASM sector.

Zimbabwe Association of Women in Mining Associations (Zawima) patron, Blessing Hungwe, revealed a basket of challenges affecting women miners.

“Firstly, financial institutions wanted security like properties, they wanted title deeds, and they wanted all that. But most women don’t have one,” Hungwe said. 

“Remember men are the ones who will be holding on to the title deeds.”

Hungwe called on authorities to decentralise some of the services.

“You have to be well versed to go to the geological offices, but  how many women can get onto the bus and go to Harare and look for a geological office to be able to get information?,” Hungwe said.

“Having said this, there's a need for the government to actually come to the ground.”

World Resources Forum Association (WRFA) project manager, Robin Gilli, said a majority of small-scale miners lacked geological expertise.

“It could be because they do not have the information about what the geology is, what the minerals are, what geologic deposits look like, what they consist of ... ?” Gilli said.

WRFA programmes director, Shahrzad Manoochehri, emphasised the need for access to capital and investment.

“On the other hand for the investors and the financial institutions, it is not easy to invest in a process that is not following the globally accepted requirements in terms environmental, social and governance requirements,” Manoochehri said.

Zela legal officer, Effort Dube, expressed hope that the academy will assist women in mining.

“Because what we have noticed is that some of them actually don't know the minerals that they're extracting,” Dube said.


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