- March 31, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
FIDELITY Printers and Refiners (FPR) will soon introduce a flexible package for women in mining to access funding under its Gold Development Initiative Fund (GDIF) as part of its effort to ensure improved contribution in the production of the yellow metal.
In his presentation at a small-scale miners’ conference in Bulawayo recently, FPR head of GDIF Mr Matthew Chidavaenzi said the country’s sole gold buyer had noted with concern the failure by most women in mining to access funding under its mechanisation financing facility.
“We identified that women miners were failing to access the Gold Development Initiative Fund and we did some investigations to ascertain the reason which caused such difficulties. One of the problems we identified is to do with collateral. Most women don’t have collateral in their names and then the second problem was skills, women lacked the requisite skills to do mining as a business,” he said.
“Women will never access money, the moment you speak about collateral. So it’s one of the reasons we are trying to address by getting an insurer who will insure the loan and we give you with minimum collateral, it may be the plant or equipment that we buy for you,” he said.
Mr Chidavaenzi said in an effort to impart and capacitate women in mining with the requisite skills in the trade, FPR facilitated a mining course for some of them at the Zimbabwe School of Mines further stating that the participants of the training programme would be given preference to access the fund.
“The third challenge, which we think is a huge challenge in mining is the issue of claims. Women miners don’t have claims. If they don’t have claims then it is very difficult for them to get finance because they do not have anywhere where they will be able to mine. So part of the discussion, which we are having with the Ministry of Mines (and Mining Development) and large-scale producers is to say, can we get tributes, which will be given to women so that women can be able to be supported through being given all the requisite capital to start viable mining projects on good claims where they are not harassed or forced out of their places,” he said.
“We had set aside about $20 million but women could not access it . . . I think we managed to do less than 60 percent of that account. This year what we have done is that we have increased it and also refined the model itself to say what the impediments for women to access that fund were,” said Mr Chidavaenzi._The Sunday News