The Zimbabwean Government has set aside USD$10 million for the capacitation of small scale miners who are reportedly struggling to make ends meet, says the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
Speaking at the 4th Quarter Gold Mobilization Development Workshop in Harare today, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Soda Zhemu, said the initiative came after realizing a sharp decline in gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners by small scale miners as well as a lack of gold service centres which offer technical services to miners.
Minister Zhemu said the gold deliveries by small scale miners to Fidelity Printers & Refiners has retarded by a significant 18%, falling from 20.1 tonnes to 16.5 tones, adding that this had affected an expected gold delivery target of forty tones that was set for the period from January to October this year.
“As a way to mitigate the challenges , the Government has set aside 5 million towards the capacitation of small scale miners, he said”
The Minister also said another USD$5 million has been channelled towards the establishment of five Gold Services Centres. A gold service centre is a one stop shop that offers technical services to miners, access to milling, access to capital and a ready market for the commodity for small scale players.
He added that the Gold Service Centres are crucial for gold mobilization, plugging leakages, employment creation and forex generation.
“The ministry is setting up a pilot centre in Makaha and the centre is set to commissioned soon,” he said. “The centers will be set up in all of the country’s ten provinces.”
Zhemu also said government will continue to enhance safety measures for miners, as the sector has over the years suffered from fatal mining accidents.