Bubi Gold Service Centre to create 1 600 jobs
Shamiso Dzingire, Business Reporter
INSTALLATION of processing equipment at the $5 million Bubi Gold Service Centre in Matabeleland North is nearing completion with the project expected to create 1 600 jobs for the local community.
In 2016, the small-scale miners representative body, the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) partnered an investor from South Africa, Gold Genius in setting the service centre at Queens Mine which Vice President Constantino Chiwenga officially commissioned last month.
In an interview with Business Chronicle last week, Bubi Small-Scale Miners’ Association (BSSMA) founder member Mr Ishmael Kaguru said the service centre would create 1 600 jobs for the Bubi community as well as add impetus to gold output as the country targets 100 tonnes of the year metal in the next five years.
“We have installed six hammer mills so far and what is outstanding is installing wet ponds, which exercise we think will be done in the next few weeks as we are now waiting for the supplier to deliver the remaining equipment before the centre becomes fully operational,” he said.
BSSMA is an affiliate of the ZMF.
Mr Kaguru said Bubi small-scale miners were excited about the completion of the service centre.
There are more than 300 small-scale miners in Bubi district.
In 2015, under the Government’s project the first gold service centre was set up at Peace Mine in Silobela.
Through the gold service centres that the Government is looking forward to establishing in gold mining regions across the country, small-scale miners will for the first time benefit from their sands unlike what was happening when stamp mills are used.
BSSMA, chairman Mr Sqeduthando Ncube said the project will see their members initially owning 40 percent of the project and on full payment of the loan.
Small-scale miners have emerged as the biggest contributors to gold output in the country.
In first seven months of the year, small-scale miners delivered 13,5 tonnes of the total 21 tonnes produced in the country while large-scale miners have contributed 7,3 tonnes.
This means small-scale miners have so far contributed 64,9 percent of gold delivered to Zimbabwe’s sole gold buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
In the past few years, Zimbabwe has been experiencing a surge in gold output as the Central Bank rolled out a Gold Development Initiative Fund.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has this year increased the gold support facility to $150 million from $80 million in 2017 after realising the impact the fund had on boosting the mineral’s output.
As at December last year, $60 million had been disbursed to small-scale miners while $20 million was snapped up by large-scale miners.