Source: Mobile gold purchase, collection units on cards | The Herald May 10, 2016
Walter Nyamukondiwa : Chinhoyi Bureau
GOVERNMENT will soon roll out mobile gold purchase and collection units that will buy the mineral at centres near artisanal miners. The programme is expected to bring convenience to the artisanal miners commonly known as makorokoza as the mobile teams will buy gold near the source.Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa confirmed the imminent purchase and deployment of vehicles to all outlying areas where mining activities are being undertaken.
“We must produce more gold in order to take advantage of the prices. We will shortly be deploying vehicles which come to buy gold from makorokoza (artisanal miners),” said Minister Chidhakwa.
He revealed the development at the handover of the refurbished old Chinhoyi Hospital which now houses the Mines ministry’s Mashonaland West provincial offices. The offices were refurbished at a cost of $136 000 sourced by the Mines ministry and executed by the Public Works department in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
Minister Chidhakwa said the vehicles will be manned by personnel from Fidelity Refineries and Printers.
“They will move from one shopping centre to the next shopping centre. We know that a mukorokoza producing 5 grams or 10 grams of gold has no business going to Fidelity Refineries and Printers,” said the minister.
He said the journey to Harare chewed into their profits. This is expected to help in plugging smuggling loopholes and illicit trade in the mineral.
Fidelity Refineries and Printers, he said, will offer the best price adding that the absence of a similar arrangement resulted in them selling to the nearest buyer.
This, he said, left them open to manipulation and getting poor prices for their gold.
He said policy pronouncements by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya last week ensured that gold prices in the country were 5 percent better than obtaining prices worldwide.
“We will be the best bidder because we will buy at the best price. Look at what happened last week. The governor of the Reserve Bank enabled us to be 5 percent better on our price of gold than everyone else in the world,” he said.
He said the key to realising economic benefits from the obtaining regime is to ramp up production.
This will entail competition amongst the country’s provinces that will see the best performing provincial mining director being published and rewarded.
Production for the first quarter exceed the previous quarter by about a tonne.
Gold prices have been on the ascendancy in recent months with current figures showing that they have so far increased by 17 percent.
Mashonaland West minister of State Faber Chidarikire called for more inter-ministerial infrastructure projects in the province as a way of fostering development.
Prospective miners had to travel all the way to Kadoma to sort out their licences in the province.
The move to decentralise mining services have been hailed as key in improving peoduction in the mining sector.