Home » General » SMALL-SCALE GOLD MINERS IN ZIMBABWE SET TO INCREASE PRODUCTION

HARARE, Feb 27 — Artisanal and small-scale gold miners in Zimbabwe are targeting to produce more than 15 tonnes of gold this year, surpassing the 3,900 kilogrammes of last year, says the Zimbabwe Artisanal and Small Scale Miners Council chief executive officer, Wellington Takavarasha.

He told New Ziana here Thursday that the projected increase was linked to government plans to license the miners to legalize their operations. “We are looking forward to increasing production to 2004 levels when we
produced 17 tonnes of gold,” he said.

“We attribute this projection to the government pronouncements that it is in the process of licensing small-scale miners so that they operate legally unlike in the past when it has been a cat and mouse game between the police and the artisanal miners.”

Takavarasha said licences would ensure optimum exploitation of minerals which would enable the sector to contribute to the mainstream economy. All licensed miners would account for gold mined and would deliver to Fidelity Printers, he said.

“All gold produced will be delivered to Fidelity Printers and this will minimize smuggling,” said Takavarasha, who added that the move would allow miners to operate freely and conserve the environment.

In 2005, artisanal and small-scale gold miners produced at least 12.5 tonnes of gold, which amounted to slightly over 50 per cent of the country’s total production but the following three years they produced virtually nothing because of operational challenges and lack of supportive policy.

About 1.5 million artisanal and small-scale miners are engaged in the trade on a full or part time basis.
Small-scale miners produce 30 per cent of Zimbabwe’s total gold output.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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