Zimbabwe’s gold production reached a 24.8 tonnes against a set target of 27 tonnes bench marked for 2017 with small scale miners dominating production levels.

Gold remains a major mineral whose contribution to the gross domestic product is key to the growth and development of the economy.

While small scale miners who are still using simple tools such as hammer and chisel, they have managed to increase gold deliveries to the sole buyer of the yellow metal Fidelity Printers and Refiners after they brought in 13.176 tonnes of gold compared to the big miners who only managed 11.667 tonnes of gold.

An official of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation Mr Dosman Mangisi said with support from government in the form of machinery and materials, the small scale miners have the capacity to produce over 30 tonnes of gold per year.

He also appealed to Fidelity Printers and Refiners to decentralise the disbursement of loans so that the western region can also access the facility and improve their operations.

Recently government assured the small scale miners that they will not be arrested if found in position of gold as long as it is destined for Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

This is part of government strategy to mop-up all the gold produced locally which was being externalised by buyers that were selling the mineral to South Africa.

The country is keen to get re-admission to the lucrative London bullion market where the mineral fetches the best price.