The Sunday News
Charleen Ndlovu, Business Reporter
THE country’s sole gold buyer and exporter, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) has issued 21 gold buying licences to the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) as part of its concerted efforts to mop up the yellow metal.
ZMF general council chairperson Mr Makumba Nyenje said the gold mining permits issued to the organisation would go a long way towards plugging leakages of the mineral.
“The Federation has received 21 gold buying licences from FPR through a working relation. We have since issued out the gold buying licences to all the mining provinces. The move comes at a time when Government is making efforts to try and plug leakages in gold buying operations. As a Federation we want to assist in curbing gold leakages because the country has over the years been losing close to $50 million a month due to illegal dealings,” he said.
In 2014 Government cancelled all private gold buying licences and directed all small-scale miners to sell their gold through FPR as some of the permit holders were being accused of abusing the facility.
Efforts to get a comment from FPR by the time of going to Press were fruitless.
Meanwhile, addressing stakeholders at a Mashonaland Central Province artisanal and small-scale mining outreach programme on Friday last week ZMF president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya said there was a need for the Government to expedite the formalisation of artisanal miners so as to enhance their production and gold delivery to FPR.
“The Government has shown an interest in the formalisation of small-scale miners. This implementation will greatly uplift vulnerable mining groups’ rights and help incorporate artisanal small-scale mining into regional priorities. It will also develop a vision collectively inclusive of artisanal small-scale mining and address social inequalities, secure rights for miners and protect the human rights of artisanal and small-scale miners in mining regions. It will also significantly reduce Government’s processing times for mining title applications and make more viable areas of land available for ASM by inspecting current exploration concessions,” she said.
Ms Rushwaya said most informal miners are unable to meet the current formalisation requirements.
“Informal miners cannot comply with the current formalisation requirements without help. Government should consider creating training centres and promoting banking systems for artisanal and small-scale miners, and also link formalisation programmes to ethical certification initiatives,” she said.