By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has struck a deal with Glow Petroleum in a development that will see the country’s small scale miners accessing fuel without enduring long queues.
This, according to ZMF president Henrietta Rushwaya is aimed at boosting productivity in the mining sector.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business Friday, Rushwaya said the arrangement will leave the miners with more time to concentrate on their work.
“We have struck a five year agreement with Glow Petroleum and this will see the country’s small scale miners accessing fuel at a price of US$1 per litre without any delays.
“It is not about the need for foreign currency but we have just made that arrangement bearing in mind that the miners sell their minerals in foreign currency,” she said.
Glow Petroleum managing director, Aaron Chinhara confirmed the development highlighting that the decision was taken after considering the contributions being made by small scale miners towards foreign currency generation.
“We realised that small scale miners are making the country tick because they generate foreign currency and we will approach Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority to get permission to allow small scale miners to get their fuel stored at our service stations. Once the fuel is paid for, we will then reserve the fuel for miners,” he said.
Chinhara said that once the miners pay for the fuel, they will receive their fuel inside three days.
“We shall also be giving the miners advice on fuel consumption and management through organised workshops which will be rolled out throughout the country,” he said.
Sarah Tembedza, representing the ZMF financial advisors, Metropolitan Bank also revealed that systems had already been put in place to facilitate the smooth flow of funds from miners to the fuel providers.
“For one to qualify to access the fuel there is need to be a Zimbabwe Miners Federation member and after that you have to open a Nostro Foreign Currency bank account with Metropolitan Bank and then you get a card bearing your name which will be used for identity purposes.
“The fuel facility is prepaid hence the need for the miners to know exactly how much fuel they need to use in a given period. You can also deposit money in any Nostro FCA held with any bank and you then make a transfer to the ZMF collections account. We have already put in place automated systems to make sure that once the monies get in Glow Petroleum gets its portion,” she said.
According to official records, small scale miners contribute 60 percent of the country’s total gold output and the obtaining fuel challenges are choking the sector’s viability.