Tetrad Group has unveiled a $1 million revolving fund for small-scale miners to acquire equipment as it plans to set up gold buying centres countrywide.
Speaking at the launch of the Mining Development Fund in Bubi, Matabeleland North Province, last week, Tetrad group general manager (corporate banking) Toddy Muchongwe said the funds would be repaid over one year.
Muchongwe said the terms and conditions of the facility would be announced in due course, but said the funds were already available.
“We have realised that the government has not been fully supporting small-scale miners and as Tetrad we have entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to set up a $1m revolving fund,” said Muchongwe.
“The money is for acquisition of equipment such as compressors, generators, and we will offer technical skills as we do not want them to fail to repay their loans.”
The equipment would be on lease finance basis.
He said funds could be accessed by individuals or syndicates as there was a huge demand for financial assistance.
He added: “We are licensed to buy and move gold countrywide, therefore, we are setting up buying houses in Gwanda, Bulawayo and also in Bubi. We encourage small-scale miners to formalise their operations as we don’t want them to be running away from the police.”
According to figures released by the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines, small-scale miners contributed one third of the total gold receipts from January to April.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation chief executive officer Wellington Takavarasha said some banks continued to shun funding small-scale miners despite their contribution to the economy.
Takavarasha said the federation was considering applying for an export licence.
“We have been talking to the Ministry of Finance to have our own export licence as we are currently using the Chamber of Mines licence because our operations are different. Therefore, we need our licence for marketing and other logistics,” he said.