Incessant rains slow down gold production

THE heavy rains that pounded most parts of the country have caused a sharp drop in gold production by both small and large-scale miners in the last month, a Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) official has said.

by Stephen Chadenga

ZMF spokesperson, Dosman Mangisi, said small and large-scale gold producers expected an output of over a tonne each in January, but failed to meet the target.

Mangisi said small-scale miners were the worst affected as their shafts were inaccessible after being flooded by water.

“Although in January we were expecting over a tonne each from both small and large-scale miners, the former (small scale miners) managed to produce 713kg, while the latter (large scale miners) managed 913kg, giving a total of 1 636kg,” he said.

The 2017 target by small-scale miners is 12 tonnes, although the sector expects to surpass and reach 14 tonnes after receiving a boost of $20 million from the gold development initiative facility.

Last year, small-scale miners delivered 9,7 tonnes of the precious metal to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe-owned Fidelity Printers and Refineries.

This year’s gold production target is set at 28 tonnes. Last year, gold accounted for 43% of mineral exports, while platinum was in second position at 42%.