GOVERNMENT has commended artisanal miners (makorokoza) for producing more gold than corporate miners this year.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
This was disclosed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Harare on Wednesday.
“I wish to commend small-scale artisanal miners, particularly in the gold sub-sector, who have positively responded to facilities and incentives extended by the government and have now consistently increased gold production to levels higher than that of the formal corporate gold producers,” Mnangagwa said.
“Moving forward, the government will take a keen interest to ensure environmentally-sustainable mining practices by this sub-sector.”
Mnangagwa’s disclosure came shortly after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced in his 2018 National Budget statement that 17 163 tonnes of gold were delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners between January and September this year.
Of the gold delivered from January to September, small-scale producers are said to have accounted for 51% of the deliveries, which is 17,2 tonnes.
Chinamasa said there was also need to plug leakages from smuggling through joint compliance monitoring.
In his SONA speech, Mnangagwa decried the high incidences of smuggling of gold at the country’s border posts and warned that those engaged in the criminal activity would be brought to book.
Figures from the Finance ministry shows that if artisanal miners are capacitated, the country is on course to meet the targeted volume of 24,5 tonnes of gold deliveries through Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
This would be 12% higher than the purchases of gold during the corresponding period in 2016.