ZIMBABWE’S gold output for the month of May increased by 17% to 3,4 tonnes compared to the previous month figures with small-scale miners maintaining their production dominance over primary producers, Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR) has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Data from the country’s sole gold buying unit, FPR, shows that during the period under review, the small-scale mining sector produced 2,2 tonnes of the yellow metal compared to 1,2 tonnes delivered by primary producers.
In total, gold production in the month of May clocked 3,4 tonnes, up from 2,9 tonnes produced in April.
FRP general manager, Fradreck Kunaka, attributed the increase in gold production in the month of May to the gold development fund initiative which was launched in October 2016 to support small scale miners.
“In May 2017, the small scale miners delivered 0,9 tonnes and this year the sector has surpasses the figure by more than 100%. With the fund being increased to $150 million, Fidelity Printers and Refiners is committed to supporting gold mining operations with focused and customised financial products that will keep the mining business moving forward,” he said.
Between January and May 2018, cumulative gold output stood at 13,6 tonnes. In January this year, small-scale miners delivered 1,4 tonnes of gold, in February 1,1 tonnes, 1,8 tonnes in March and in April 1,9 tonnes. Primary producers delivered 1,2 tonnes in January, 931,7kg in February, 953,3kg in March and 982,9kg in April.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation spokesperson, Dosman Mangisi attributed the upsurge in gold production in May to a number of factors, chief among them mechanisation.
“There is strength in numbers which is already been the reality and also in those numbers the majority of scale miners are also vying for onsite milling,” he said.
“They are now practicing what we call vat leach, the issue of cyanidation process which has got high value gold beneficiation and also the FPR loans. We can see there is an impact on that.”
Last year, both primary and small-scale producers delivered 24,8 tonnes of gold to FRP up from 21,4 tonnes in 2016.
This year, the government is targeting 30 tonnes of the yellow metal.