OUTPUT by small scale miners has almost doubled in the last two to three months due to increased monitoring by government, an official has said.
An official with the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe said the country needs to ensure that gold produced by more than 400 milling plants in the small scale sector is sold through the approved marketing entities.
“With increased enforcement and monitoring recently introduced gold contribution by small scale miners have increased from about 250kg per month to over 400kg per month in these last 2 to 3 months,” the official said
The official said in order to increase output from small scale miners capital is required to mechanise their operations.
“This means to access capital small scale miners have to formalise and register their operations. I am aware of collective action involving the government through the Mines and Mining Development ministry and other ministries, Chamber of Mines and other small scale miners are working on various facilities for small scale miners to access such funding equipment and basic safe mining skills,” the official said.
He said since the introduction of the channelling of gold through Fidelity Printers an increase of 200kg per month was realised and this means 4,5 tonnes of gold being contributed by the small scale sector.
“I think deliveries are likely to increase further as medium term and long-term measures associated with formalising the artisanal mining activities and capacitating them are implemented,” he said.
Mines minister Walter Chidakwa’s recent remarks that there are serious revenue leakages resulting from side-marketing of gold especially by small scale miners and the government had adopted various measures which include greater police presence at mines and milling centres to force miners to sell to Fidelity Printers.
The drastic measures also include instructing the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to disconnect those millers who are not licenced from the electricity grid.