- March 24, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
THE Government has introduced an incentive for small-scale gold producers, which will see them receiving their local currency component above the prevailing interbank market rate.
In an interview with Sunday News Business after a small-scale miners’ forum held in Bulawayo last Wednesday, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura said following an outcry by miners after the lowering of the foreign currency retention threshold from 70 to 55 percent by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya in his recent Monetary Policy Statement, the Government engaged the central bank to come up with ways of cushioning the miners.
“Initially there was a lot of noise before we engaged the RBZ Governor. After engagement he did not review the retention figure as such but put an incentive instead of 45 percent being in the ratio of 1:1 he reviewed to 1:3.50. So a lot of miners are happy and they are quiet and we actually expect our March production to improve,” he said.
“For January things were so bad we had about 1,77 tonnes and a week after the Monetary Policy Statement we received only 20 kilogrammes in February and then we engaged the RBZ Governor who reviewed the rates and at the end of February we received 2,136 tonnes up from 1,77 in January. So a lot of miners are happy with the current complaints being about fuel (shortages), cyanide and explosives (unavailability), which are minor. We will try to chip in and see that they get those consumables,” he said.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya reiterated the Deputy Minister’s sentiments stating that the Government had acceded to the gold miners’ demands in light of coming up with a favourable threshold for the gold delivered by small-scale miners at FPR.
“Our Government has since seen it fit that they engage us and so far we are quite pleased to say that Government has taken our plea into consideration and all gold producers are actually getting favourable payments for their gold output to Fidelity and special mention goes to the Central Bank especially the Governor for having listened and taken heed of our clarion call with regards to the small-scale mining sector in so far as the 55 percent retention was or is concerned,” she said.
“We are still in the process of engaging Government and last week we had a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance (and Economic Development) with regards to the issuing of duty-free certificates for consumables such as cyanide, mercury and other related chemicals. The issue of import duty is something worth mentioning and as such the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance has requested us to write to the respective Ministry (Industry and Commerce) presenting our requests and they will also consider whether they can give us a waiver to the taxes that come with the importation of such goods,” she said.
Ms Rushwaya said ZMF was at an advanced stage of obtaining a licence for the importation of fuel as part of its efforts to ensure the availability and undisrupted supplies of the commodity to miners.
“We have actually written to Zera (Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) as of January this year and we also wrote to the responsible Ministry through their Permanent Secretary Engineer (Gloria) Magombo and we are pleased that as ZMF we are on the verge of getting a fuel import licence and our financial partner, Met Bank has been very handy and as they have managed to help us with the requisite fees needed for the acquisition of a licence. Very soon issues to do with diesel shortages in the small-scale mining sector should be a thing of the past,” she said.
The Government is working on a new set of regulations that would allow holders of free funds to import fuel to augment current supplies._The Sunday News