Govt unveils US$10 million gold support facility
Harare (New Ziana) – The Government on Wednesday launched a US$10 million funding support facility for gold producers to spur production.
Half of the money would be earmarked for expansion projects by small-scale gold miners, and the rest to build six gold processing centres around key mining areas.
Speaking at the launch, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the funding would be drawn from an International Monetary Fund (IMF) facility availed to the country as part of the global lender’s post-Covid financial support advanced to all its member countries around the world.
Under the facility, Zimbabwe was allocated nearly US$1 billion, part of a massive US$650 billion the IMF advanced to countries worldwide to stimulate global economic recovery.
“It was in the 2022 National Budget Statement that I announced that Zimbabwe had been allocated US$958 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as part of a General Allocation of US$650 billion that was released globally to all IMF member countries. It is from these resources that the Treasury is targeting strategic sectors such as mining expansion and value addition,” Ncube said.
“The Gold Facility has the potential to close the funding gap and spearhead increased productivity, as well as finance bankable projects with a focus on the value addition,” he said.
He said in support of value-addition and beneficiation programme for the small-scale miners, government would avail USD$5 million to build Gold Service Centres to help artisanal gold miners to process ore.
A Gold Service Centre is a one stop shop that offers technical services to miners, including access to milling, capital and market.
“To this end, the setting up of a USD$5 million Gold Service Centre Revolving Facility (GSCF) and USD$5 million Artisanal Gold Small Scale Miners Fund (AGSMF), will go a long way in capacitating the small-scale miners through the construction of Gold Service Centres as well as providing them with the requisite tools of trade for their day-to-day operations,” Ncube said.
Ncube said the implementing agency for the USD$5 million Gold Service Centre Revolving Facility will be the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) which will be responsible for the construction of the Gold Service Centres. The disbursement for the GSCF will be done through the BancABC Bank.
On the other hand, the USD$5 million Artisanal Gold Small Scale Miners Facility (AGSMF) will be accessed through the Mining Loan Fund (MLF) administered by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
“These facilities are revolving funds and as such the Government expects the beneficiaries to repay the loans made available to them to enable other beneficiaries to benefit in future. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and BancABC Bank will closely work together to ensure viability and sustainability of these funds through efficient allocation and recovery programmes,” said Ncube.
Small-scale gold miners have become big contributors to overall gold production in the country, and now rival their big, formal counterparts.