BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
The Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development ministry has engaged Togabless Mining Investment for gold mining assistance, NewsDay Business has gathered.
In a communiqué to the private mining entity, the ministry’s Mashonaland Central provincial development officer Judith Hove requested support to enhance women mining activities in the province.
“The above ministry encouraged women to peg mines, but after pegging, (they) fail to be productive as they do not have equipment to use. As a result, most of the miners do forfeit. Some have resorted to artisanal mining. May you kindly assist the women miners. Others need gold buying licences, but cannot afford the charges,” the letter dated June 25, 2020 read.
The Women ministry pointed out that women did not have adequate capital to fund mining ventures.
“Women do not have capital for the initial requirements for mining. If assistance would be given, then payment for any services rendered would be collected when mining takes place on the women mines,” the ministry said.
Togabless specialises in mine pegging and beacon installation, exploration, geophysics, contract mining and construction of mills, among other things.
The ministry has since put in place a woman mine service centre with the intention to process gold using the pounding method and has requested Togabless mining to renovate the centre.
Togabless managing director Blessing Togarepi said his company had agreed to provide pegging and exploration services to women miners in the province.
“As Togabless, we have agreed to assist women in Mashonaland Central with gold claims. We are going to assist them with 15 gold claims in pegging, exploration and also linking them with foreign and local investors,” he said.
Small-scale mining contributes about 70% of gold deliveries in the country.
Last October, government launched an ambitious roadmap to achieve a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
Under the US$12 billion mining roadmap, gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum US$3 billion, while chrome, iron, steel, diamonds and coal will contribute US$1 billion apiece.
Currently, gold generates US$1 billion annually. Total gold output for last year stood at 33,2 tonnes.
This year, authorities target to achieve 40 tonnes of gold notwithstanding disruptions caused by the COVID-19 and leakages perpetuated by poor payment modalities.
On May 26, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that small-scale gold-buying agents and artisanal producers would be paid in cash at a flat rate of US$45 per gramme of gold.