Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, has used US$10 million of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) grant extended to Zimbabwe last year to set up a gold facility.
The US$10 million is from nearly US$1 billion received from the IMF under Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset to supplement official reserves and boost liquidity to member countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. NewZimbabwe quotes Ncube as saying:
It is from these resources (IMF SDRs) that the Treasury is targeting strategic sectors such as mining expansion and value addition. The mining sector has potential to generate foreign currency earnings and create jobs that will have a multiplier effect in growing the economy.
The US$10 million Gold facility is broken down as follows: USD$5 million Artisanal Gold Small Scale Miners Fund (AGSMF); and USD$5 million Gold Service Centre Revolving Facility (GSCF).
He said the setting of a US$10 million gold facility is aimed at supporting value-addition programmes for small-scale miners and the gold mining sector at large.
According to Ncube, GSCF is a one-stop shop that gives miners access to technical services, milling centres, capital, and a ready market for the gold produced by small-scale miners to Fidelity Gold.
Ncube noted that more than 18 tonnes of gold (64% of the total mined) were generated by artisanal miners.
He said the output demonstrates the need to adequately support artisanal miners to ensure that the nation reaches the US$12 billion mining industry by the end of 2023.
The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation will be the implementing agency for the USD$5 million Gold Service Centre Revolving Facility (GSCF) (ZMDC).
ZMDC will be in charge of building the Gold Service Centers in this regard. The GSCF’s disbursement will be handled by BancABC Bank.
The USD$5 million Artisanal Gold Small Scale Miners Facility (AGSMF) will be accessed through the Mining Loan Fund (MLF) which is administered by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
Eligible Artisanal Small-Scale Miners will be required to submit their applications with the requisite information to the Mining Loan Fund. – (Pindula)