$15m mine mech­a­ni­sa­tion fa­cil­ity launched

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Busi­ness Reporter

THE Govern­ment will soon launch a $15 mil­lion mine mech­a­ni­sa­tion fa­cil­ity for small-scale gold min­ers to boost out­put by play­ers in the sec­tor.

Ad­dress­ing del­e­gates at the 2016 Mine En­tra con­fer­ence in Bu­l­awayo last week, Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Wal­ter Chid­hakwa said the fa­cil­ity would be funded from do­mes­tic re­sources.

“We need to grow the small-scale gold min­ing sec­tor be­cause l be­lieve that is where great­est po­ten­tial is.

‘‘If you look at gold pro­duc­tion as of to­day, at least 40 per­cent of our gold pro­duc­tion is com­ing from the small-scale gold sec­tor and it’s grow­ing.

“I’ve no doubt that in the next year they will ex­ceed 50 per­cent of gold pro­duc­tion in this coun­try,” said the Min­is­ter.

“To­gether with the Re­serve Bank, we’ve said yes, we’re try­ing to put fa­cil­i­ties such as the $100 mil­lion fa­cil­ity from the Chi­nese but we must have fa­cil­i­ties of our own, which are tar­geted at our own peo­ple. . . al­ready we’re look­ing at a $15 mil­lion fa­cil­ity for small-scale gold min­ers so that we be­gin to sup­port them.”

He said the Govern­ment had failed to meet the col­lat­eral se­cu­rity re­quire­ments for the $100 mil­lion loan fa­cil­ity from China and thus the coun­try was look­ing at fund­ing small-scale min­ers’ mech­a­ni­sa­tion pro­gramme us­ing in­ter­nal re­sources.

He said the Govern­ment has only man­aged to meet col­lat­eral se­cu­rity re­quire­ments from China worth $5 mil­lion, which equip­ment would be se­cured for small-scale min­ers.

Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Deputy Min­is­ter Fred Moyo is on record as say­ing the Chi­nese-made min­ing equip­ment would be de­liv­ered to small-scale gold min­ers by end of next month.

The plan to mech­a­nise small-scale gold min­ing is part of a raft of new mea­sures to de­crim­i­nalise ac­tiv­i­ties in the sec­tor to boost de­liv­er­ies to Fi­delity Print­ers and Re­fin­ers, Zim­babwe’s sole buyer of gold pro­duced in the coun­try.

An es­ti­mated 500,000 small-scale gold min­ers op­er­ate in Zim­babwe.

At present, the small-scale min­ing sec­tor con­trib­utes about 40 per­cent of the na­tional gold out­put.

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