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Statue, Stone Sculpture and Stone Carving Repairs

   Stone has beauty that endures beyond most art forms. It is heavy. It withstands nature commemorating its artistic message. None the less, things happen. Being chipped, scratched or even broken are realities. A base support may loosen or it needs to be moved and secured at a new location.. yet other realities.

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Saanich sculpture

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June 7th, 2021        more...


Saanich sculpture

News from Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean Focus On COVID 19
  Jan. 2nd, 2021      by

   The rapid growth of COVID 19 cases has triggered a month long lock down of Zimbabwe, starting January 2nd, 2021. While a general easing of restrictions since early COVID 19 restrictions came into play, last week the government acknowledged the current impact and tipping point had come into focus, when it moved away from a re opening of schools on January 4th.

Zimbabwe COVID-19    Twitter reported N Mangwana, a government source, as saying “we are being overwhelmed and overrun by this virus”.

   Only essential organizations such as food and pharmaceutical outlets, hospital, and emergency related services are exempt from the nation wide lock down. There is a curfew in place from 6pm to 6 am, gatherings are banned and travel within Zimbabwe restricted, except for 'taking sick relatives to hospital'.

   Zimbabwe's artisanal sculptors have taken this year of lock downs to focus on what they do best... create astounding art that delivers messages which withstand the test of time. Travel restrictions have completely undermined the usual European exhibitions and events crucial to the international revenue they depend on. Each artist sculptor has been faced with focusing on their style as even the social distancing and colleague interaction had impacted all day to day activities.

   2021 was to offer exhibition opportunities for proudly created art. Instead 2021 now presents 30 more days of lock down.

First Zimbabwean Art Show Since COVID 19 Arrived  Nov. 17, 2020

   This has been a difficult year for Zimbabwe's artists according to Farai Mpfunya, Director of Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust. Zimbabwe's artists are dependent on the international tourism that currently just does not exist and won't until international flight traffic resumes. Sculptures have sat without being viewed since March 2020 when bans on those incoming flights began.
   Zimbabwe's stone sculptors have earned world renown over many decades. Their work has attracted worldwide attention and traffic for Zimbabwe's tourism more and more each year. In 2019 over 1 million tourists generated over 1 billion dollars of revenue. Mangaliso Ndlovu, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, attributes a loss of over 1.1 billion US dollars due to the countries COVID 19 travel restrictions. A situation sculptors in Zimbabwe are painfully aware of and suffering from.

Gold for Zimbabwe Tomorrow  Feb. 14, 2020

Artisan Mining a Zimbabwean Solution to Pverty    Gold is found in every district of Zimbabwe. Gold mining activity ranges from the Blanket Mine, Zimbabwe's largest gold mining operations producing over 50,000 ounces a year, to the work done by the 35,000 illegal miners shown in official records or the 1,000,000 plus illegal miners estimated 1.
   In January 2020, Canada's Caledonia Mining increased its ownership of Blanket Mine to over 60%. More effective and reliable ongoing gold production is expected having completed a five-year investment programme at Blanket Mine. The latest 44 million (USD) investment impacts production as of fall 2020. Average annual investments of 20 million (USD) assure production efficiencies. Now this also brings 10 percent of Blanket being donated to...... more

the local community 2.

   None the less, Patrick points out economic necessities force many Zimbabwean citizens to become illegal miners. "They are called illegal as they do not have permits allowing them to operate, because its hard for them to get a permit. In the end whatever they mine finds its way into the hands of the government as these people are not able to sell outside the country. Basically it means the government has agents who own mining permits, but they don't work on the ground. That's why these people are not able to take the measures to protect themselves." Aside from missing much of the economic benefits these miners enjoy no workmans compensation or insurance benefits. On a Wednesday night, when illegal miners went to work with their picks and shovels at the Globe and Phoenix mine they had no idea at least 2 would be found dead the next day by the local Civil Protections Unit. While there were reports of 20 others being trapped, it is not possible to know if more perished as there were no records of who or how many went to work the night before. The dangers faced are further complicated by the gangs of workers trying to protect their turf as they survive economic realities 3.

   It may very well be that the government holds the key to turning these problems into a solution. By first fast tracking permits authorizing work 'illegal miners' are already doing, order could be brought to this chaos. Attaching safety standards and penalties would protect these working artisan miners who could never achieve the efficiencies of the mining corporations. Zimbabwean citizens could benefit from gold deposits not dense enough to justify further investment and help reveal not yet found deposits. Second, establishing a buying board where artisan miners could receive a fair price for their work would transfer black market margins into both revenue to the miners and immediate government taxation revenue set into the price offered. Of course, artisan miners may choose to use the gold for jewellery or art pieces to increase the value of their work although delaying receipt of revenue and taxes. Regardless, these two steps would; increase gold production for Zimbabwean gold reserves, undermine the impact of gang violence, enhance worker safety and MOST IMPORTANTLY open up a much needed avenue to poverty reduction for the average Zimbabwean.

 1 Editorial, Mining Zimbabwe, 01, 2020 Pg.4
 2 Canadian Company Takes Over Majority Holding Of Zim’s Biggest Gold Mining Company After Relaxation Of Indigenisation Laws, ZimEye.Net , News, Jan 22, 2020
 3 Two die in Zimbabwe gold mine collapse, Reuters, Feb 6th, 2020

Gemstone Mining by Artisanal Miners Threatened

Gemstone from Zimbabwe Dec 12, 2019   Craftsmen artisanal miners who sell rough uncut gemstones stones, are being driven out of work.
   Unlike Zimbabwe's neighbouring countries, there are no ... more

permits or process management systems. The foundation that craftsmen and artists can provide the economy is being driven to a self destructive black market. Whether this is due to any indifference of the needs of individual citizens, bureaucratic empire building, or a centralized powerful greed, matters little.
   All rough gemstones except for rough emeralds and rough diamonds are defined as semi-precious, according to the Precious Stones Trade Act. The mining of those semi precious gemstones is almost entirely the work of small scale craftsmen miners who finance themselves out earned income. Without support from government policies and the legal pillars of Zimbabwe's economy black market price controls, environmental destruction and missed international markets for Zimbabwean art pay the price.
   Zimbabwe offers semi precious gemstones that include: agates, amethyst, aquamarine, fluorite, quartz, red garnet, ruby corundum, and tourmaline. Zimbabwe has also built a cooperative base of craftsmen artists and culture during the decades since independence. Until a system exists that allows small scale craftsmen miners and the artists turning their gemstones into an opportunity that enhances the economy, self sustaining citizens and the country will be miss out.

New Darwendale Platinum & Gold Mine in Great Dyke near Harare

Darwendale Platinum & Gold Mine in Great Dyke Oct 22, 2019   The Great Dyke belt is expected to produce 250,000 to over 800,000 ounces of platinum and gold starting in 2021. This is in addition to the current 1,000,000 annual ounces. Catalytic converters used to reduce emissions are a major user of platinum. Supplying while demand remains strong, is ... more

key. This project is joint venture between Russia’s Vi Holdings and Zimbabwe’s Landela Mining Venture ( a subsidiary of commodity trading firm Sotic International Ltd which is a Mauritian company linked to oil business mogul Tagwireyi, also recently involved in AFRICA’s only integrated nickel mining company, the Bindura Nickel Corporation, take over activities, after a Chinese groups stake sell off and exit from the Zimbabwean market). Its $500 million syndicated funding is set to complete March 2020.