Zimbabwe: Investors to Fund Gold Centres

Manicaland Bureau

Government intends to aggressively push for the establishment of gold centres across the country and has roped in local investors to fund the projects.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando last week said although capacity utilisation was increasing in both small-scale and medium to large scale mining, delivery remained depressed, hence the need to speedily push for the gold buying centres.

Last year, President Mnangagwa launched a strategic roadmap to the achievement of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, as the Government ramps up efforts to increase the sector's contribution to the economy by facilitating the exploitation of minerals throughout the entire value chain, with set targets per mineral. Gold is expected to increase to 100 tonnes per annum. Minister Chitando said the next few weeks would bring tangible results in aligning capacity to deliveries, thus pushing towards the US$1 billion gold sector by 2023.

"The Government will be over the next few weeks aggressively establishing the gold centres, he said. The reality of the matter is that over the years, the local investing community, that is the pension funds and local institutional investors, have not had that much appetite to invest in mining.

"So, we felt that to ensure speedy implementation of the gold centres and promote the artisanal mining sector, we should allow institutional local investors to invest in gold centres. The results have been encouraging.

"We have proposals from local investment entities to fund the establishment of gold centres. That will also facilitate their capacity to exceed 100 tonnes per annum."

Minister Chitando said initially, the Government was targeting 16 centres, but more would be rolled out at a much faster pace after that.

A pilot gold centre was established in Bubi two years ago and is now operating smoothly despite facing a few initial technical hitches.

The Mines Ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to address issues related to the mismatch between capacity and delivery.

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