Government is working with investors to establish gold centres around the country with the first centre expected to be operational by July this year.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the centres are expected to increase local gold production.
“Government recognises the contribution by our small scale miners and various initiatives have been put in place to support them. Furthermore Government is working with investors in establishing gold centres around the country and this will increase gold production as well as creating employment for the people,” said Chitando.
The country’s small-scale and artisanal gold miners have for the first time in more than 10 years, emerged as the cornerstone of the sector after smashing production records, producing and delivering more gold than large-scale mining houses, statistics have showed.
The country’s primary producers yielded 24,8 tonnes of gold in 2017, according to official data. The sector has recovered from its three tonne nadir recorded at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis in 2008, but is still short of the 27,1 tonne peak reached in 1999.
Government has supported the artisanal miners who have increased use of improved mineral processing technology through a $40 million gold development facility by the central bank, targeting 179 small-scale miners.
There are over 4 000 recorded gold deposits in Zimbabwe but currently about 40 percent of these are being commercially worked on.
The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) said the significant rise in small mining outfits, which do not get the respect and recognition they probably deserve, saw the sector contributing 47 percent of the country’s total gold output compared to 46 percent contributed by large gold mining companies last year.
Minster Chitando said Government next month will be producing the Zimbabwe mining vision together with the Zimbabwe Diamond Policy.
“We hope that through this shared vision we will be be able to clear ambiguities to our potential investors on what we expect as our country from our abundant mineral resources.