Small scale miners outpace big firms
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.