Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
The mining sector stimulus credit facility to be administered by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), which Government agreed to avail for small scale miners at last week’s cabinet meeting, will be released next month as production up scaling efforts gather pace.
Government is working towards the attainment of a US$12 billion export milestone by 2023, up from US$2, 7 billion which Zimbabwe achieved in 2017.
If the milestone is achieved, it will completely change the complexion of the country’s economy and will be a solid anchor towards the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030 as set by President Mnangagwa.
Of the targeted US$12 billion, the larger chunk of US$8 billion is envisaged to come from minerals whose marketing falls under the ambit of the MMCZ.
The other US$4 billion is expected to come from gold through the marketing of 100 tonnes of the yellow metal.
In an interview with The Herald Finance and Business, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, said the stimulus package will be ready for release by end of April.
Describing the impending injection as “interesting”, Minister Chitando said Government is currently working on the structure the facility will take and also advised that it will be different from other packages which Government has previously unveiled.
“That (stimulus package) will be announced by the end of April, it will be some interesting announcement,” said Minister Chitando.
“At the moment we are really looking at the concept, the money can always be increased depending on miners’ needs, but we are looking at a structure that we are sure is going to really facilitate the growth of the small scale sector.
“It’s going to be a completely new structure from the ones we have previously had,” he said.
While mining sector growth prospects is largely premised on foreign direct investment and investment from large corporates, the need to support the small scale sector comes from the realisation that some deposits are more amenable to small scale operations than conglomerate mining.
It is against this background that Government is moving in to cover one of the biggest challenges affecting miners in this sector.
Most of them are still relying on rudimentary mining methods due to lack of capital to invest in the requisite machinery which will in turn see an increase in production.