Eight artisanal died Sunday night in a mine blast in Mazowe, about 54 kilometers outside Harare.
Reports indicate that one of the miners used an explosive to blast through the rocks underground and the mine collapsed, killing the eight in the process.
Government confirmed the incident on twitter before adding that investigations are underway.
“Govt received tragic news of a mining incident at Jumbo Mine in Mazoe. “Information at hand indicates that some people engaged in unauthorized mining exploded dynamite in 1 shaft causing a collapse in an adjacent shaft. 8 bodies have been recovered so far. Investigations underway,” said the government on it Twitter handle.
Zimbabwe is faced with a huge challenge of artisinal miners who continue to work in unsafe environments which expose them to life threatening scenarios.
In February, 24 miners died after an open mine flooded overnight.
Last year, eight other miners died in Chinhoyi amid speculation that government does not do enough to provide proper security for artisinal miners.
Mines and Minerals Minister, Winston Chitando, has over the past few weeks maintained that government continues to take artisinal mining seriously as it provides more than 50% of the annual revenue from the mining sector.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has set the mining sector a target of US$12 billion per year from 2020 as the troubled nation seeks to maximize on its natural resources for economic development.
An official from one of the small scale miners organisations, who declined to be named, said there is a lot of corruption that happens at the mines which leaves several people dead.
“What has been happening at the mines is very undesirable. There is a lot of corruption where you find police officers allowing miners to use mines which would have been condemned. We note the rot that is there but we are unaware of who sanctions the opening of such shafts. It’s deplorable, “the official said.
Zimbabwe Mining Federation ZMF Mashonaland Central chairman (ZMF) Mahlahla Masango said there needs to be formalization of small scale mining.
“We have always called for the formalization of artisinal mining as this enhances more safety measures to be taken. There needs to be regulations that govern the operation of small scale mining to ensure that there is safety for miners,” he said.
Masango added that there has been a drastic rise in the number of artisinal miners due to the poor performance of the economy.
“The economy is bad and most people tend to focus on mining for survival. Roughly, we have over a million artisinal miners across the country and they need to fend for their families, so they do not pay much attention to the safety regulations,” he said.
Small scale mining contributes immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and is regarded as one of the top foreign currency earners.