THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has disbursed $5 million to gold miners under its accelerated gold production initiative, central bank governor John Mangudya said.
Early this year, Mangudya said the RBZ had mobilised $50 million to support gold miners. The fund is also financing Fidelity Printers and Refiners mining projects.
“The project is moving well and we’re working with Fidelity to disburse the funds,” said Mangudya. “So far we’ve disbursed about $5 million to gold miners.”
The accelerated gold production initiative’s vision is to increase gold production to around 30 tonnes per year by 2020 and revenue of around $1.5 billion at current prices.
Mangudya said the target is achievable as the country produced its highest ever gold tonnage at 27 tonnes in 1999 when artisanal production was very low. Gold is one of the sectors expected to drive the economy in the medium term.
“The view of the Reserve Bank is that gold production must be accelerated. The Reserve Bank as the primary market for all gold produced locally through Fidelity Printers and Refiners would want to see a market and policy driven growth in gold production to buttress the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s gold mobilisation programme,” Mangudya said in the Monetary Policy Statement for 2015.
Zimbabwe will also start acquiring mining equipment under the $100 million credit facility from China Export and Import Bank after fulfilling “most” of the conditions precedent. The government, through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, entered into a $100 million loan facility agreement with Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group of China for the provision of small scale mining equipment on credit in line with Zim-Asset.
Zimbabwe’s gold production declined to an all-time low of three tonnes in 2008 as miners struggled with tough economic challenges characterised by hyperinflation.