Africa Moyo Business Reporter
FIDELITY Printers and Refiners (FPR) – a gold buying unit of the Reserve Bank – has embarked on gold mobilisation outreach programmes as part of measures to increase deliveries to 27 tonnes this year.
The gold mobilisation outreach programmes are set to begin today in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province. A gold mobilisation itinerary availed by FPR public relations officer Ms Chelesani Moyo shows that the exercise will run from today to November 24 across nine provinces, excluding Mashonaland East.
Ms Moyo said the aim of the outreach is to “increase deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) in order to attain the target of 27 tonnes by year end (and to) build relationships with our customers (such as) small scale miners, artisanal miners, gold buyers, millers”.
It is also hoped that the exercise would enable FPR to understand the challenges being faced by miners in order to craft the necessary interventions where possible.
“(We also want to) know the size and dynamics of our market, where they are located and operate so that we develop appropriate strategies,” said Ms Moyo.
Several key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the RBZ and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) are expected to be part of the outreach programme. Zimra is expected to address taxation and royalty issues and how they apply to small-scale miners, artisanal miners, gold buyers, millers; while the RBZ will seek to address monetary issues with regards to gold mining and how it is regulating issues of parallel pricing.
Gold deliveries have risen to almost 14,7 tonnes in the first eight months of the year, spurred by a strong performance by small-scale miners. Small-scale miners, who largely use elementary equipment such as picks and shovels to extract the precious metal, have in the past been playing second fiddle to large-scale gold producers but have since turned on the style, and delivered 7,2 tonnes since January.
Large-scale miners have so far delivered just over 7,4 tonnes to FPR up to August 31. In the half year, 9,9 tonnes of gold had been delivered to FPR, with large-scale miners accounting for 53 percent of the deliveries while the small-scale miners contributed 47 percent. The performance of the small-scale miners thrusts the country on a firm footing to achieve its ambitious target of 27 tonnes.
FPR has already predicted increased output from small-scale miners in the second half of the year, particularly those that benefited from the $40 million Gold Development Initiative Fund. As at June 30, about $31 million had been taken up by over 100 small-scale miners. Miners can borrow up to $15 000 under the Fund and the money is payable in three years