Small scale miners’ contribution to the national gold production has declined in the past month owing to viability challenges, power outages and leakages, among other key contributions.

This was revealed during the 1st quarter regional gold mining conference organised by Fidelity Printers and Refiners in Mazowe to find ways to arrest the challenge and to conscientise miners on what SI142 entails to their proceeds.

June saw small scale miner’s gold output plummeting by approximately 50%.

A contribution of a paltry 687kgs was made as compared to 1279kgs in May, threatening the realisation of the targeted 40 tonnes per annum.

The slump in deliveries has coincided with incessant load-shedding which miners blamed for affecting operations, whilst others pointed to fuel challenges, leakages and claim disputes as detrimental to gold output.

Mashonaland Central Deputy Mining Director, Engineer Leon Godza said whilst ending disputes remains a challenge, small scale miners should combine efforts to arrest electricity problems.

“We can take a leaf from other countries as well like Zambia. They don’t switch off power at mines. If you come up to lobby in group, most of your concerns can be addressed,” said Engineer Godza.

Fidelity Printers and Refiners Head- Gold Initiative Development Fund, Mr Matthew Chidavaenzi said the government through the RBZ has disbursed $150 million to provide financial solutions to the mining industry.

“Government is playing a critical role in providing development finance to gold producers to equip them with working capital so that they are able to produce. One of the reasons we are here is that all the gold producers should be able to access this gold fund for the purpose of increasing gold deliveries,” said Mr Chidavaenzi.

$20 million of the development initiative fund has been set aside for women, in a move expected to increase productivity.

Gold is the largest contributor to the country’s export proceeds, hence government’s commitment to ensuring uninterrupted production.

stakeholders also expressed content with proceeds after the gazetting of SI 142 and agreed to continue to receive payments pegged at 55:45 ratio on cash and RTGS transactions.

Zimbabwe lies on approximately  13 million tonnes of unexploited gold ore which if tapped into can transform the country’s economic fortunes.