BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
SMALL-scale miners want the government to resuscitate gold buying permits with affordable terms so that they could mop up the gold in designated areas in the country to increase delivery.
Government in 2014 cancelled all private gold buying licences and directed all small-scale miners to sell their output through Fidelity Printers and Refiners to curb gold leakages.
In a letter dated February 22, 2018 and addressed to Fidelity Printers and Refiners general manager Fraderick Kunaka, Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation chief executive officer Wellington Takavarasha said the government should resuscitate gold buying permits.
“Thanks for unveiling to us the 2018 January gold remittances to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR). I notice that the small-scale miners [are] still performing above the big mining operations,” Takavarasha said.
“Comparable figures with 2017 December indicate that small-scale miners produced 1,5 tonnes and January 2018 1,3 tonnes. The other outstanding 200kg should have been brought in by the FPR gold-buying agents. We are kindly requesting if you could please resuscitate the gold-buying permits with affordable terms so that they should mop up the gold in the designated areas.”
Zimbabwe’s gold deliveries rose by 56,4% to 2 558,9kg in January compared to 1 636,5kg during the same period last year. Out of 2 558,9kg, small-scale miners produced a total of
1 399,1kg against large-scale producers, who delivered 1 159,8 kg.
Last year in January, small-scale gold producers recorded 713,5kg while primary producers produced 923kg.
Small-scale producers attributed subdued output of the yellow metal in January last year to water clogging of the mine shafts following incessant rains received in the last season.
Gold producers last year delivered 24,8 tonnes to Fidelity Printers and Refiners compared to 21,4 tonnes in the prior year.
In 2017, the small-scale mining sector also outshined large-scale gold producers after contributing 53% of the total deliveries.