Small and medium gold producers in Gwanda have been challenged to take advantage of the Gold Initiative Development Fund as government steps up efforts to enhance production.  

This came out during a Gold Mining Conference held in Gwanda yesterday.

With the country on course to achieve its gold production output target of 30 tonnes this year, the highest since independence, government has engaged gold producers in Gwanda to deliberate on ways to further enhance production of the yellow metal.

Fidelity Printers and Refiners head of the Gold Initiative Development Fund Mr Matthew Chidavanenzi said 60 percent of the $150 million facility has been allocated to the southern provinces and expectations are that the local gold producer will apply for the fund so that they can realise their full potential.

“What then becomes important is how many applications are coming through to Fidelity for allocation, so that is part of the reason why we chose Gwanda as our first port of call to say while you are doing good in terms of production, but do you know that there is a fund that is available to you. Can we now start to get more applications so that we continue to get more gold,” he said.

Given the importance of gold production to the economy, the apex bank RBZ said it has put various strategies in place to curb mineral leakages

“The Reserve Bank is part of a taskforce that include key security sectors of this country where the teams have come in to do what we call gold mobilisation. We go to mining districts including Gwanda to encourage miners to sale gold formally,” said Mr Dishoni Limbafani RBZ principal analyst – financial markets division.

The gold producers highlighted some of the challenges they are faced with which include stringent measures in accessing funds.

Gold producers in Gwanda have since January this year remitted 133 kilogrammes of gold to Fidelity Printers.

To curb the rise of the black market the sole gold buyer Fidelity Printers and Refiners has not only relaxed the requirements for miners who want to sale the mineral through the formal channel but has ensured the yellow metal is pegged at international prices.