Small-scale Gold Miners Target Increased Output Next Year


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DT Correspondent

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya anticipates a 100 percent increase in gold production from artisanal and small-scale miners during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

This projection is attributed to reduced rainfall and improvements in electricity generation.

In the first quarter of this year, Zimbabwe experienced a decline in overall gold output, with a 19.5 percent drop to 6.2 tonnes.

This decrease was primarily caused by the lack of equipment among small-scale producers to handle flooded pits during the rainy season.

However, small-scale miners remained the leading contributors to gold output, delivering 3.7 tonnes compared to the 2.5 tonnes produced by large mining firms.

The figure whichrepresents a 24 percent decline from the 4.9 tonnes delivered in the first quarter of 2022, highlights the significant role played by small-scale miners.

Ms Rushwaya acknowledged that ASM sector may not meet its initial target of 25 tonnes for 2023 despite being confident that this goal can be achieved during the first quarter of 2024 due to weather forecasts predicting average to below-average rainfall for the 2023-2024 rainy season.

“Certainly we are unable to meet the target as initially indicated but this can still be achieved in the first quarter of next year.

“Weather predictions have shown that we will expect average to below average rainfalls for the year 2023-24 and as such what has been stopping us from producing gold in the first quarter of the year was the issue to do with dewatering machinery that is needed in the mining industry.

“Because we are not going to experience much rainfall I’m sure we should be in a position to produce a lot and by producing a lot, I mean where we were producing an average of a ton of gold per month in the first quarter, we are going to produce two tons per month and that should be able to cover up for the gap that has been created this season,” Ms Rushwaya said.

She further explained that the expected decrease in rainfall, coupled with the upgrade of Hwange 7 and 8 electricity generators, will significantly boost gold production.

She suggests that production in the first quarter of 2024 could double, with small-scale miners increasing their output from an average of one ton per month to two tons per month.

This increase is expected to compensate for the production gap experienced in the current season.

Ms Rushwaya also emphasized the importance of green energy adoption among miners to mitigate climate change.

She encourages miners to complement the government’s efforts in building a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

The ZMF President highlighted the significant contributions made by artisanal and small-scale miners to the mining sector, particularly in gold and chrome production.

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