Zimbabwe Small scale miners are aiming to contribute US$4 billion to the targeted goal of turning the mining sector into a US$12 billion economy Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) announced.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) CEO Wellington Takavarasha told the media that small-scale and artisanal miners have an important role to play towards the realization of the US$12 billion mining economy.
“Statistics of production indicate that the US$12 billion mining economy is being achieved in various sectors, it’s across all the mining sectors.
“US$4 billion has to come from Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM)’’ he said
Fidelity printers receipts of small-scale miners indicates that 60% of the total gold output is from Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM)
Takavarasha also highlighted that formalization of Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) is long overdue.
“As long as government is benefiting from the artisanal, small-scale mining sector operations definitely need to formalize.
There has been some engagements at Mines and Finance Ministries and they are going to meet and come up with a Statutory Instrument that legalizes and policies that have a framework for the ASM sector.
Takavarasha said the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the ASM sector.
“Covid-19 has greatly impacted on the ASM sector, we have had challenges such as cash shortages.
“The cash shortages are emanating from the fact that the commercial flights that have been coming into the country and the international flights were being restricted. Therefore, this impacted on Fidelity Printers having cash. There were acute shortages at Fidelity Printers and Refineries because of the pandemic,” he lamented
Consequently, the situation led to a significant drop in production.
“Production during Covid-19 dropped drastically. Statistics indicates that we went from 22 tonnes to 9, 8 tonnes,” he said.
Minister of finance Mtuli Ncube highlighted some major mining investment projects that are progressing well and are expected to feed into the country’s exports basket by 2023.
Leading mining concern investment is US$4, 2 billion Great Dyke Investments Platinum project, which is now under construction phase and the US$4 billion Karo Resources project, is poised to get to production before 2023.
Of late Minister Ncube also highlighted the Arcadia Lithium Mine being developed as well as several coal projects sprouting in Matabeleland North — some of which the President toured in July.
At policy level, government is reviewing and updating mining legislation to ensure it is in tandem with the set target.
There is also a deliberate push towards enhancing exploration and investment in mining as well as modernisation and computerisation of the mining title administration system.
Local beneficiation and value addition of minerals is also another strategy, which will drive the sector’s export growth and this will also entail the creation of more high value jobs.
Mining sector is the second leading sector after agriculture in Zimbabwe currently employing millions of people.