RBZ’s gold fund boosts small-scale producers

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Gold deliveries by small-scale miners to Fidelity Printers and Refiners have in the seven months to July 2018 surpassed by 126% deliveries from primary producers, thanks to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwes’ Gold Development Initiative Fund (GDIF).

By Melody Chikono

Small-scale miners gold deliveries during the period increased by 120% to 2,46 tonnes, while primary producers recorded a 14% increase to 1,09 tonnes driven by the Gold Development Initiative Fund put in place to capacitate artisanal and small-scale miners.

Fidelity Printers general manager Fradreck Kunaka said total tonnage recorded for small-scale miners rose to 2,46 tonnes in July from 1,12 tonnes during the same period in 2017 while that of primary producers rose to 1,09 tonnes from 0,96 tonnes in the corresponding period.

“This can be attributed to the support being availed to gold producers through the Gold Development Initiative Fund being rolled out by Fidelity Printers and Refiners on behalf of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). The loan facility is primarily for the acquisition of a gold mining plant and equipment in order to enhance gold production by miners,” he said.

Zimbabwe attained an all-time peak of 27 tonnes in 1999 but current economic conditions have resulted in an increase in the number of side marketers of gold over the years.

RBZ governor John Mangudya says the country’s gold output is now poised to beat last year’s production figures as well as achieve this year’s target after having recorded a 72% output increase in the year to July 2018. Gold producers, both large and small scale, have so far drawn down US$100 million from the US$150 million gold support facility that was availed by the central bank to support their working capital and purchase of machinery.

Meanwhile, the export incentive scheme has also to date resulted in gold producers earning an extra 12,5% which has come in handy to help ramp up production.

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