Story by Owen Mandovha
THE Government has finalised modalities for small-scale gold miners to start accessing the US$5 million Gold Fund launched to capacitate artisanal miners to ramp up gold production.
Last month, the Treasury and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development set aside US$10 million to support small-scale gold production, with US$5 million expected to be channelled towards the acquisition of machinery to improve capacity.
This Monday, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Dr Polite Kambamura, told ZBC News that small-scale miners can now access the facility at the ministry’s provincial offices.
“Those willing to apply for the loans can process to do so at our Provincial offices in their respective provinces. There is no upfront fee that will be paid to any organisation or agents who will be used to access these funds,” he explained.
Dr Kambamura added that the gold facility is expected to provide impetus to the multitude of artisanal miners in increasing production.
“The small-scale gold mining sector remains key in increasing gold production, but, more can be realised if we capacitate them for more production and we expect this facility to go a long way in increasing production,” he said.
Last year, the small-scale gold mining sector contributed over 65 percent of the 35 tonnes delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners and the sector is anticipated to haul more of the 50-tonne target set this year.