SMALL-SCALE miners in Zimbabwe are targeting to produce 35 tonnes of gold this year, up 165% compared to last year’s achieved figures, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) first vice president Ishmael Kanguru told NewsDay on the sidelines of the organisation’s strategic meeting with mining suppliers in Bulawayo on Friday that they have set themselves an ambitious target.
“We are actually giving ourselves a 35-tonne target. We are hoping that we are going to get a lot of support from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in terms of the loans in order for us to meet this target,” he said.
Kanguru said for them to meet the target, they will also lobby for more funding from government.
Zimbabwe’s gold output last year shot up by 18% to 24,9 tonnes, with the bulk of the yellow metal having been delivered by the small-scale mining sector.
In the period under review, small-scale miners delivered 13,2 tonnes of gold, while primary producers produced about 11,7 tonnes.
“And also the suppliers if they can be given this $50 million that would be much better for them. That will make us easier to meet our target,” he said.
Government last year launched a $50 million loan package to support local companies involved in the manufacturing of mining and mineral processing equipment.
But suppliers on Friday said they never benefited from the fund and asked ZMF to make a follow up on the matter.
Kanguru told NewsDay that they will engage government, through the ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, to find out what had transpired.
“The $50 million facility was actually launched last year at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair by the minister of Trade and Commerce and from there up to now we don’t know exactly what transpired,” he said.
“But this money was launched that means they could not launch something that was not there. But up to this date we are also wondering what happened. The suppliers didn’t get anything.”