The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) registered over 40 000 small-scale miners last year as government moves to formalise activities of artisanal miners who now deliver over half of the country’s gold output, an official said today.
Zimbabwe intends to replace the colonial Mines and Minerals Act with a mining development policy that would give formal recognition to small-scale miners as part of moves to ‘indigenise’ the sector.
Citing data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), the African Development Bank (AfDB) ‘s latest report said in October last year, bullion deliveries rose by 11.60 percent to 1 268.41 kilogrammes over the same period in 2013 after small-scale producers ramped up production.
“Deliveries by primary producers decreased by 8.04 percent to 838.22 kg in October, while deliveries by small-scale producers increased by 91.15 percent to 430.20 kg in October 2014,” noted AfDB.
Speaking in Gweru, ZMF spokesperson Dosman Mangisi said despite 40 000 artisanal miners being registered, more still remained outside the system.
“The move (to register the miners) is aimed at formalising their operations to curb leakages as gold panning activities have been rampant,” said Mangisi.
The registration will improve accountability and transparency in the sector in which ‘bogus and unregistered’ operators are rampant, he added.
The AfDB said gold deliveries from January to October were 11.11 tonnes, surpassing the 10 tonnes required for the country to be reaccredited into the London Bullion Market Association.
Zimbabwe was ejected from the LBMA in 2008 after gold output plunged to three tonnes and since then, has been exporting its gold through South Africa’s Rand Refinery.
Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was re-opened last December following years of redundancy resulting from undercapitalisation and the liberalisation of gold exports in 2009.- The Source