VICE President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday officially opened the country’s first gold service centre in Bubi district, Matabeleland North. The centre is set to create 1 600 jobs for the local community and increase the country’s gold reserves to 100 tonnes within the next five years.
VP Chiwenga said the opening of Bubi Gold Service Centre was a reflection of Government’s commitment to empowering small- scale miners through people-oriented and private sector-centred policies.
“The setting up of this model service centre in Bubi will create 1 600 jobs for the local community and it will be replicated countrywide in line with our vision,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said the capacitation of artisanal miners will help in changing their livelihoods and increasing productivity in the gold sector.
This comes as the Reserve Bank is planning to set aside $75 million to buy gold from small-scale miners to ensure all bullion is sold in Zimbabwe.
Gold is Zimbabwe’s single biggest mineral foreign currency earner, while the mining sector generates over half of the country’s export earnings.
The service centres will be one stop centres providing an assortment of services such as the hiring of equipment at affordable rates, technical support services, processing and buying of minerals produced by small sale miners at fair prices.
VP Chiwenga said the launch of the Bubi Gold Service Centre is in pursuit of the Government’s dream of an effective, viable and efficient small scale mining sector that operates within the framework of international best practices and sustainable development.