A credit guarantee fund has been established to cushion non-gold mining projects across the country from the effects of fluctuating commodity prices and high operational costs.
Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) general manager, Mr Tongai Muzenda, said yesterday that the credit guarantee facility seeks to assist non-gold mines in playing their role towards the attainment of the US$12 billion mining economy.
"The Credit Guarantee Fund was pronounced by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development (Engineer Polite Kambamura) a few days ago.
"The fund is being administered by MMCZ and right now we are in the process of putting modalities to see which banks can be used to disburse resources under the facility," he said in an interview.
"The facility targets to support non-gold mining projects with funding to boost their operations in light of the falling global mineral prices and high operational costs."
Mr Muzenda said they anticipated to have finalised the credit guarantee scheme's funding modalities by next week to pave way for potential beneficiaries to start accessing funding from the facility. He could not be drawn into revealing the fund's seed capital, indicating that the money was coming from the Ministry of Finance and that as a corporation they would want to start with at least $100 million for on-lending.
"As you might be aware, mining is a capital-intensive business. So, as MMCZ, if we can be allocated at least $100 million as seed capital for a start, I think that could go a long way in boosting the operations of non-gold producers across the country as we project a $12 billion mining economy," he said.
Zimbabwe is endowed with vast mineral reserves such as ferro-chrome and nickel, among others along the Great Dyke. In recent years, Government has been supporting miners in the gold mining sector, particularly, the small-scale miners with funding taking into account their critical role in the production of the yellow metal.
Such funding schemes in the gold sector include the Gold Development Initiative FuBulawayo Bureaund. Small-scale gold miners are contributing 60 percent of the deliveries made to Fidelity Printers and Refiners. Last year, the country produced 33,2 tonnes of gold with the bulk of it coming from the small-scale miners.