Home » Business » SMALL-SCALE GOLD MINERS IN ZIMBABWE SEEN RAISING THEIR OUTOUT THIS YEAR

HARARE, Small-scale miners in Zimbabwe are expected to contribute at least 13 tonnes of gold to national output this year, up from 9.7 tonnes which they produced last year, a senior government official says.

Small-scale miners have contributed almost 40 per cent of total output since 2015, when the government legalized artisanal mining and embarked on an aggressive collection strategy, which saw the country's sole buyer of gold, Fidelity Printers and Refineries, setting up buying depots across the country.

Presenting a paper Thursday at the Zimbabwe International Research Symposium, The Permanent Secretary of the Mines and Mining Development Ministry, Professor Francis Gudyanga, said the contribution of small-scale miners would increase this year.

"Last year we had more than 9.0 tonnes of gold coming from the small-scale miners and we project that in 2017 we will have nearly 13 tonnes. he target for this year as a country is about 28 tonnes and 13 of that will come from small-scale miners," he said.

Prof Gudyanga said output from small-scale miners could be even higher, but challenges, including lack of equipment and smuggling were being experienced. The government was actively supporting the small-scale miners through policy interventions and various loans and mining equipment.

"The Ministry also periodically reviews its mining fees to reduce operational costs and enhance mining operations," he added.

At the peak in 2004, small-scale miners produced 17 tonnes of gold. However, despite the potential the sector has in contributing to economic growth, some government levies and royalties have resulted in many preferring to operate illegally.

The Zimbabwe government has been making efforts to prop up small-scale mining operations and in 2015 reduced royalties for small-scale gold miners from 3.0 per cent to 1.0 per cent.

Gold is one of Zimbabwe's main export earners.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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