Gold submission by the Artisanal and Small-scale miners has declined by 18% from 20.1 tonnes to 16.5 tonnes a government official has announced.
In his speech at the Fourth Gold Mobilization Sent-off Workshop on Monday, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon. Zhemu Soda, highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by small-scale gold miners which he says contributed to the decrease of gold submissions to the country’s sole gold buyer outlined the government’s efforts to mitigate these obstacles.
Minister Soda attributed this decline to two primary factors: poor mechanization in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector and a lack of geological reports to identify and assess available resources. Additionally, access to capital emerged as a major challenge for ASGM, with limited assets available as collateral, Soda alluded.
“Ladies and gentlemen, looking at the current production in 2023, gold producers have delivered a total of 26.2 tonnes of gold to Fidelity Gold Refinery for the period January to October 2023 against a set target of 40 tons. Out of the 26.2 tonnes, small scale miners contributed about 63%. The gold deliveries to Fidelity Gold Refiners by small scale miners have decreased by 18% from 20.1 tonnes to 16.5 tonnes. The decreased gold production from small scale miners, who are the major contributors of gold delivered to Fidelity Gold Refiners, is a result of poor mechanization in the ASM sector and lack of geological reports to assess the resources within mining locations. Access to capital is a major challenge to most ASGM. This is because most small-scale miners have limited assets to use as collateral,” Hon Soda said.
To combat these hurdles, Hon Soda said the Zimbabwe government has taken proactive measures to support small-scale miners. He announced that government has allocated USD5 million for capacity development among small-scale miners. This funding aims to improve mechanization, enhance mining techniques, and foster sustainable practices to increase gold production in the sector.
“As a way to mitigate the challenges, the Government of Zimbabwe has set aside USD5 Million towards capacitation of small-scale miners and another USD 5 Million was channelled into the establishment of 5 gold service centres,” Soda said.
A well known gold service centre is in Bubi, Matabeleland North. The service center provides comprehensive support to small-scale miners by offering specialized training, access to modern mining equipment, as well as assistance with geological assessments and exploration activities.
November 2023 submissions will also likely decline as government had reverted to the 75/25% usd and local currency payment system which they have now reversed.