Govt to set up more gold buying centres

HARARE - Government is prepared to set up more gold buying centres to spout into the production of the country’s estimated 1,3 million artisanal miners, the Finance minister told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“It is the policy of Fidelity Printers to place buying points wherever there is gold being mined or panned,” Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said during question and answer time.

“In particular, we are talking about gold which is being bought or delivered by artisanal gold miners. If the honourable minister feels that there are places which are not well covered, he can advise me, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe or Fidelity Printers so that they can put more buying points to cover all the gold producing areas.”

All gold is bought and delivered to Fidelity Printers as the sole buying agent on behalf of government and also the sole refiner.

The minister was responding to a question by Chegutu West Zanu PF legislator Dexter Nduna on methods that government has taken to make sure that gold from small-scale miners is appropriately strapped up.

“What is government policy regarding the establishment of gold-buying centres, particularly in those areas that are endowed with artisanal miners and a lot of small-scale miners?” Nduna said.

The government allocated a $100 million vote to small-scale miners in the 2014 national budget and has announced plans to formalise their business through an Act of Parliament.

In addition, the Mining Industry Loan Fund is being bankrolled to the tune of $460 000 which would be used to buy equipment for the miners.  Zimbabwe expects to get 24 tonnes of gold this year from 14 tonnes in the prior year buoyed mainly by an expected increase from small-scale miners, still short of the almost 27 tonnes achieved in 1999.

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