Small scale min­ers out­pace big firms

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Busi­ness Re­porter

SMALL scale min­ers out­paced big cor­po­rates in the third quar­ter 2017 gold out­put by 29 per­cent to set­tle at 4 043kgs com­pared to 3 120kgs pro­duced by es­tab­lished com­pa­nies in the same pe­riod.

Of­fi­cial data from Fi­delity Print­ers and Re­fin­ers, the sole gold buyer in the coun­try, in­di­cates that dur­ing the pe­riod out­put for the small scale pro­duc­ers grew by about 58 per­cent from 2 543kgs in the sec­ond quar­ter to 4 043kgs as at end of Septem­ber 2017. Pri­mary pro­duc­ers on one hand recorded a 10 per­cent in­crease from 2 820ks to 3 120kgs.

In cu­mu­la­tive terms both pri­mary and small scale min­ers have since Jan­uary de­liv­ered 17.163kgs of gold to Fi­delity with the for­mer record­ing 8.494kgs com­pared to 8.669kgs by the later.

In Septem­ber alone pri­mary pro­duc­ers’ out­put stood at 1 046kgs com­pared to 1 111kgs posted in Au­gust. The fig­ure lags be­hind out­put by small scale min­ers who scooped 1 449kgs in Septem­ber com­pared to 1 446kgs in Au­gust.

Ac­cord­ing to the Fi­delity re­port, the third quar­ter has recorded the high­est de­liv­er­ies this year at 7 162kgs com­pared 5 364kgs in the sec­ond quar­ter and 4 637kgs in the first quar­ter.

Zim­babwe Min­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (ZMF) spokesper­son, Mr Dos­man Mangisi, at­trib­uted the in­crease in out­put by small scale pro­duc­ers to the sup­port mea­sures given to the sec­tor by the Govern­ment.

“This shows the pos­i­tive im­pact of the small scale gold min­ing sub-sec­tor, which calls for at­ten­tion by Govern­ment. This is an in­di­ca­tion

that small scale gold pro­duc­ers are the main­stream play­ers in the econ­omy,” he said.

“More can be achieved in the gold sec­tor es­pe­cially if loans can be de­cen­tralised and of­fer­ing of stan­dard­ised loan pack­ages to small scale pro­duc­ers.”

Mr Mangisi said small scale min­ers were elated by the abil­ity to sur­pass big cor­po­rates say­ing this was a re­sult of im­proved gold pro­cess­ing tech­niques adopted by small scale pro­duc­ers.

“The use of ap­pro­pri­ate tech­nolo­gies in gold pro­cess­ing is re­ally con­tribut­ing pro­duc­tion as it is cut­ting down the down time lost dur­ing min­ing op­er­a­tions,” he said.

Zim­babwe’s gold pro­duc­tion has been on a steady rise since Jan­uary de­spite a few set­backs in the first quar­ter where min­ing op­er­a­tions were dis­rupted by in­ces­sant rains. The min­ing sec­tor dom­i­nates the coun­try’s ex­ports, con­tribut­ing about 60 per­cent of to­tal ex­ports an­chored by gold, plat­inum and di­a­mond.

Last year, Zim­babwe gold out­put closed at 24 tonnes and this year the Govern­ment has pro­jected about 28 tonnes of the yel­low metal by De­cem­ber 2017.

In March last year, RBZ in­tro­duced a per­for­mance-re­lated ex­port bonus scheme of up to five per­cent to en­hance pro­duc­tiv­ity and pro­mote ex­ports.

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