The government of Zimbabwe has secured a $60 million loan facility for small-scale gold miners to boost mining activities in the country.
The Mines and Mining Development Minister, Wiston Chitando made this known in an interview recently during the launch of the Redcliff Development Fund dinner in Gweru.
Chitando explained that the government had already signed an agreement with a sponsor for a $50 million credit facility for small-scale gold miners and was looking to signing another contract with a different financier for $10 million for the same initiative.
“As you are aware, we have secured a $50 million loan facility for small-scale gold miners after signing an agreement with an investor two weeks ago,” The Minister said.
“We have also secured another $10 million loan facility for the same small-scale miners with another financier, which will be availed on July 15. This will go a long way in bolstering gold production in the country.”
Minister Chitando said the overnment was setting up gold milling centres to curb side marketing and short-changing of gold miners by millers who were not remitting all the gold obtained from gold ore.
“We are setting up gold milling centres for our small-cale gold miners.. We are starting with Bubi, where Bubi Small-Scale Miners Association had a joint venture project with an investor to set up a milling plant. This plant will benefit about 90 small-scale and artisanal miners in the area.” Chitando added.
Minister Chitando said there had been delays in the availing of the $100 million loan facility negotiated by Government with the People’s Republic of China, which would see the Asian country supplying mining equipment.
He expressed the need for government to carry out due diligence on the terms and conditions agreed by the Robert Mugabe’s administration three years ago.
The country is targeting to produce 30 tonnes of gold this year, up from 24 tonnes produced last year, 2017.