By Stephen Chadenga
Confederation of Zimbabwe Miners (CZM) president, Rangani Chauke has urged government to put more concentration in the mining sector saying it (mining sector) is the only hope left to turnaround the economy particularly during the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chauke said the gold sector viability was high and with the world price of the precious mineral rising government needed to roll out a big mining programme to ensure increased production and more foreign currency is generated for the country.
“COVID-19 is here but there is need to understand that every dark cloud has a silver lining,”Chauke told RadioVop.
“There is therefore need for government to roll out a big mining programme and recapitalise small to medium scale miners.”
He added:”If for example government targets 10 000 miners and assist them with soft loans and equipment they can’t fail to produce half a kilogramme or more per month.”
Chauke said gold was the fastest foreign currency earner and had the potential not only to turnaround the economy but help solve some of the challenges brought by the novel virus.
Chauke said the support they expected from government was in terms of secured loans with 90% going towards new plant and machinery while 10% could be channelled as working capital.
Last year’s gold delivery data from Fidelity Printers and Refiners showed that artisanal and small scale miners (ASMs) accounted for 63% of the total 27 tonnes gold delivered.
Global economic analysts say ASMs produce about 20% of the current world gold supply.