THE Government will soon establish gold centres throughout the country as efforts to increase gold output to 100 tonnes per annum by 2023 gather momentum. This comes in the wake of reports that the country produced 26 tonnes of gold last year and by August this year, gold mines had produced 24,8 tonnes, setting the pace for the projected 36 tonnes of gold achievable by year end.
Addressing stakeholders during a luncheon hosted by Masvingo Polytechnic dubbed "The principal's dinner" on Friday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the vision to achieve a middle income economy by 2030 through mining, infrastructure development agriculture revolution and tourism was attainable.
"Our vision is to have a middle class economy by 2030 which is defined by Gross Domestic Product of $3 000 per capita," he said.
"Last year our gold deliveries were 26 tonnes and efforts to increase production up to 100 tonnes are being made. The country will establish gold centres and we will start with four. The first one is in Bubi in Matabeleland South while the other three will be Penhalonga in Manicaland, Masvingo and Silobela in the Midlands. These centres will cater for those who have mining claims especially small-scale miners," said Minister Chitando.
He said the Government would cater for the new players in the mining industry as it had already secured funding.
"The mining industry realised about $2,6 billion revenue by 2017 and prospects are high that this will increase to $12 billion revenue by 2023 given that the country has concrete deals that it has signed with its partners.
"Government has sourced about $50 million for our small-scale miners and under this fund there shall be a provision of equipment and starters will also benefit. There is also going to be a minerals desk for easy coordination of mining activities."
Turning to tertiary institutions, Minister Chitando urged colleges to partake in industry through research and innovation.