CONFEDERATION of Zimbabwe Miners (CZM) president Rangani Chauke has urged government to speedily recapitalise mining operations to achieve its ambitious US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
BY Stephen Chadenga
The CZM boss said there was need for an aggressive government funding programme particularly in the gold sector that could fund up to 10 000 miners at once in a bid to improve the viability of the industry.
“There is need for a fast-track mining programme that avails substantial amounts of capital investment to recapitalise particularly the small-to-medium scale miners,” Chauke told NewsDay Business.
“Yes, we might have our socio-economic challenges as a country, we might be feeling the impact of COVID-19 on our economy, but every dark cloud has a silver lining and mining is the only remaining silver lining.”
Chauke said the support they expected from government was in terms of secured loans with 90% of the loans being new plant and machinery while 10% could be channelled towards working capital.
“I don’t see the 10 000 or more miners getting government support failing to produce half a kilogramme or more of gold each per month,” he said.
“Compared to other minerals and sectors in mining, gold is the fastest foreign currency earner and this sector requires big support from government. Investment in new plant and machinery will ensure growth in terms of volumes and revenue in the gold sector.”
Last year’s gold delivery data from Fidelity Printers and Refiners showed that artisanal and small scale-miners (ASMs) accounted for 63% of total gold deliveries, which amounted to 27 tonnes.
Global economic analysts say ASMs produce about 20% of the current world gold supply.