Small-scale mining plays a significant role in Zimbabwe’s economy, providing livelihoods for numerous individuals and contributing to the country’s mineral production. This article will explore the most popular small-scale mining equipment used in the Zimbabwean context. These equipment options enable miners to extract valuable minerals with minimal capital investment and technological complexity. This makes them great products to sell and build a business around.

Picks and Shovels

The backbone of small-scale mining, picks and shovels are basic hand tools widely used in Zimbabwean mining operations. They are essential for excavation, breaking up soil, and extracting ore from the ground. Miners rely on their durability and versatility to tackle various geological conditions.

Sluice Boxes

Sluice boxes are simple and effective devices to separate gold or other heavy minerals from sediments. In Zimbabwe’s rich alluvial deposits, miners often utilize sluice boxes to recover gold. Water is passed through the sluice box, creating a gentle flow that traps heavier particles while lighter sediments wash away.

Gold Pans

Gold pans are indispensable tools in the arsenal of small-scale gold miners. Their shallow, flat-bottomed design allows for efficient separation of gold or other heavy minerals from gravel or sediment. Miners swirl the pan to separate the heavier particles, collecting the precious materials at the bottom.

High Bankers

High bankers are elevated sluice boxes mounted on stands. They are commonly used in Zimbabwe for efficient gold recovery from riverbed deposits. High bankers utilize water pressure to separate heavier minerals from sediments, maximizing gold extraction. These devices often feature adjustable sluice boxes, enhancing their versatility.


Trommels are cylindrical, rotating screens that help separate materials based on size. They are employed in Zimbabwean small-scale mining operations to screen out larger rocks and gravel, allowing smaller particles, including gold or other valuable minerals, to pass through. Trommels enhance efficiency by pre-sorting materials and facilitating subsequent processing steps.

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are handheld devices that are valuable aids in the search for gold nuggets or other metal deposits. Zimbabwean small-scale miners rely on metal detectors to identify potential areas rich in mineralization. These devices detect metal underground and help miners pinpoint promising locations for further exploration.

Rock Crushers

Rock crushers crush large rocks or ore into smaller, more manageable pieces for subsequent processing. In Zimbabwe, these crushers are commonly operated manually or powered by electricity or diesel engines. Crushing ore is often the initial step in the extraction process, enabling efficient mineral recovery.


Concentrators, such as centrifugal or shaking tables, are crucial in small-scale mining for separating and concentrating valuable minerals. These devices exploit differences in density and gravity to isolate minerals from mixed materials. Concentrators play a pivotal role in maximizing the recovery of gold or other valuable minerals.

Small-Scale Dredges

Small-scale dredges are portable machines used to extract minerals or materials from the beds of rivers, streams, or other bodies of water. They are commonly employed in placer mining operations in Zimbabwe, where gold or gemstones are found in alluvial deposits. These dredges allow miners to access submerged mineral deposits effectively.

Small-scale mining in Zimbabwe requires appropriate equipment to ensure efficient and sustainable mineral extraction. The equipment mentioned in this article represents the most popular options employed by Zimbabwean small-scale miners. Responsible and ethical mining practices are essential for the long-term viability of the sector in Zimbabwe, ensuring its contribution to the national economy while minimizing negative social and environmental consequences.

As small-scale mining continues to play a significant role in Zimbabwe, miners must stay updated on technological advancements and equipment innovations. Good business prospects exist for those who can source and supply this equipment to small-scale miners nationwide.