- January 27, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
SMALL-SCALE miners have set a target of producing 50 tonnes of gold this year after successfully surpassing their mark last year.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) general council chairman, Mr Makumba Nyenje, said the small scale miners were expecting to surpass the Government target for 2019 by at least 10 tonnes.
“The Government has set a target of about 40 tonnes and as the small scale miners we hope to surpass that target as we always do. This year we are targeting 50 tonnes of gold,” said Mr Nyenje.
He said the equipment from Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) would assist small scale miners in meeting their target.
FPR will this month select companies to supply mining equipment to beneficiaries of its Gold Development Initiative Fund (GDIF). This comes after realisation and complaints from a number of small-scale miners that some of the companies, which it has been dealing with since the establishment of the fund, were delivering improper machinery.
“As you know a lot of miners are yet to receive their equipment from Fidelity Printers and Refiners so if all those applicants (miners) are able to access the equipment and put it to optimum use that means we will attain the optimum returns or maximum production levels,” he said.
He urged the Government to continue addressing the problem of gold leakages which were affecting the industry.
“Government should work on plugging out gold leakages, there are reports that what is being channelled to Fidelity (FPR) is probably a quarter of what has been produced and 60 percent is being sold on the black market. Government needs to close those gaps possibly by providing a proper price as it used to do in the past,” he said.
He, however, said lack of skills in terms of identifying mineral deposits and lack of financial capacity were some of the challenges being faced by most small scale miners.
“Most miners do not have the time for queuing at the banks while some simply have a phobia for banks, they just do not want to open accounts except for those who are established. Also, most miners lack expertise on how to survive in the business, some are just in it when the benefits are abundant.The other problem we face is that we are not given our due consideration. Also the stigmatisation is greatly affecting us; small scale miners are treated as omakorokoza, viewed as thieves or people involved in shady deals. The name itself is not clear of the boundaries between those who actually own the mines, the employees and illegal gold panners.”
Last year, the Government had targeted to produce 30 tonnes of the yellow metal of which the figure was surpassed a month before the year ended. Final 2018 production figures are still to be revealed.
The Sunday News