The government has reiterated its commitment to assisting small scale miners with resources and technical skills to improve their operations so that they become seasoned miners with the capacity to fully exploit the country’s mineral wealth.
Small scale mining operations in the country remain subdued due to technological challenges as the small scale miners lack the capacity to upgrade their activities to fully recover gold during the processing stages.
It has been realised that in most instances, small scale miners are only able to access free gold which is located within 40 meters underground, beyond which only the use of technology will yield any gold from the ore due to the presence of heavy chemicals.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Bubi gold service centre, Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga said the government is through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Company (ZCDC) courting investors to the sector.
“We are talking to investors so that they can invest in the small scale mining sector which is one sector with very high returns but we are doing this to capacitate our miners so that they grow,” he said.
The Vice President also noted that currently the small scale miners are recovering only 43 percent of gold from ore milling services, a far cry from the 80 percent they are likely to get from the processing center as they are part of the shareholders in the processing of ore using chemicals.
He noted that while on-site milling by miners is the ultimate goal for the government in terms of operations of small scale miners, the gold service centers are a better option for them especially those that work in groups.
Cde Chiwenga further commended small scale miners for delivering more gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners as compared to the big miners, saying this shows that if supported the sector can be the bedrock of the national economy.
The Vice President revealed that the country aims at producing at least 100 tonnes of gold per year in the next two years, with hope of earning readmission to the lucrative London Bullion Market which fetches the best price for the yellow metal.