By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE Miners Federation (ZMF) has announced that the Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM) Sector’s gold output has improved to 65 percent in a development that will bolster the country’s capability to earn the much needed foreign currency.
ZMF president, Henrietta Rushwaya told NewZimbawe.com Business that the sector was immensely contributing towards the gross domestic product.
“In 2017, the ASM sector produced 13 tonnes which was 53 percent of the total gold output. The first half deliveries by small scale miners has seen the figure drastically going up to 65 percent in 2018.from the current figures presented by Fidelity Printers and Refiners it is clear that the small scale miners gold deliveries will definitely contribute to quite significantly surpassing the national target of 30 tons,” she said.
She noted that chrome miners are also contributing to the fiscus positively. Chrome exports have risen from 5000 tonnes in 2015 to 98 000 tonnes in 2017 and pointed out that a target of 200 000 tonnes will be reached by year end of 2018.
The ASM boss, however underscored the need to address operations barriers in the sector.
“….there are complex issues one of them being environmental degradation which undermines the viability and sustainability of the ASM sector. The government through EMA is working on compliance to the Minamatha Convention to include measures to reduce mercury supply sources and trade as well as phase down mercury added products and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used,” she noted.
Rushwaya pointed out that nationally, there was need to include the sector in the national action plan whose part of the objectives are strategies for promoting the reduction of emissions and exposure to mercury and commended the Environmental Management Agency for being receptive to the sector’s needs.