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MINERS have blamed the ever-increasing cost of mining equipment on inflation and an unpredictable exchange rate.

Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mining Workers Union (ZDAMWU) general-secretary Justice Chinhema yesterday told NewsDay that the high cost of machinery had pushed up production costs.

“The price on mining equipment keeps increasing because of the high exchange rate and most operators in the sector cannot afford new prices. Those who have this equipment already cannot replace parts of their equipment due to the high cost,” Chinhema said.

He made the remarks while making an appraisal of the performance of miners in 2021 and projections for mining activities for 2022.

“The mechanisation plan (in the sector) to double production has been frustrated by the impact of the recession. It has also slowed down productivity in the sector,” he added.

Chinhema urged government to introduce intervention policies, including having equipment leasing centres and equipping the geosciences laboratory, among others.

The mining sector accounts for about 12% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Experts claim the sector has the potential to generate US$12 billion annually by 2023 if government addresses persistent power shortages, foreign currency shortages and policy uncertainties.

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