Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
GOLD deliveries by small-scale miners increased by 7.8 percent to 1 127.5 kilogrammes last month from 1 045.9kg in June, data from Fidelity Printers and Refiners show.
The small-scale mining sector which in June surpassed monthly output by primary producers for the first time in six months this year, remained on top of big mining houses whose deliveries increased by 6.1 percent to 963.6kg of gold in July.
In June, the primary producers delivered 908.1kg of the yellow metal.
Both small-scale miners and large mining houses in July produced 2 091.1kg up from 1 954kg.
The Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF), which represents the interest of small-scale miners’ has attributed the improved gold output by small-scale miners to increased mineral processing technology by its members.
The ZMF spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi is on record saying output by the small-scale miners was expected to continue on an upward trajectory during the year as more and more miners adopt onsite mineral processing technology.
In the first month of the year, primary producers delivered 922.2kg of gold while small-scale miners delivered 713.5kg.
Due to heavy rains which flooded most of the mines as the country received incessant rains, both primary producers and small-scale miners’ deliveries in February declined to 768.3kg and 686.6kg respectively.
In March, primary producers delivered 862.5kg while small-scale miners produced 682.8kg.
The primary producers, in March delivered 866.9kg of gold while the small-scale mining sector produced 622.3kg.
The following month saw primary gold producers increasing output to 1 045.3kg while small-scale miners produced 874.9kg.
Small-scale gold miners this year target to produce 12 tonnes of the yellow metal up from 9.8 tonnes last year.
Apart from funding themselves, the small-scale miners have also boosted gold production using resources under the $40 million Gold Development Initiative.
In 2016, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe launched the $40 million Gold Development Initiative with a view to boost output through securing funding at 10 percent interest for small-scale miners so that they can procure mining machinery from local manufacturers.
According to Fidelity Printers and Refiners, about $30 million under the Gold Development Initiative has so far been disbursed to 179 small-scale miners across the country.
As a result of the Gold Development Initiative, deliveries of the yellow metal to Fidelity Printers in June increased by over 400kg. — @okazunga.