Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) will this year mobilise $100 million to bankroll small-scale mining operations in addition to the $150 million Gold Development Initiative Fund.
Speaking during a small-scale miners conference in Bulawayo this week, FPR head of Gold Development Initiative Fund Mathew Chidavaenzi said: “We got about $150 million from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and of that amount we have given out $120 million.
“We still have $30 million to use but I’m happy to tell you that we have managed to get another bunch of money that will be used by the small-scale miners for 2019.
“So in excess of the $150 million we might have $100 million again to support the gold miners in Zimbabwe and as part of what we have done, we have also looked beyond Zimbabwe for offshore lines of credit”.
Presently, about $80 million, which represents about 50 percent of the gold fund, has been channelled to women-led activities.
“We still believe that this is too low . . . and because of that we have come up with a refined package, which we will be introducing for women,” said Chidavaenzi.
He said FPR has noted that most of the small-scale mining equipment was denominated in United States dollars and thus his organisation was finalising on a package that would be given to small-scale miners.
Resources under the facility, Chidavaenzi said, were from a revolving facility and must be paid back so that the fund also benefits others.
He said they will soon be taking bold steps to force those who got loans under the Gold Development Initiative and have not paid pack to honour their obligations.
The GDIF facility was launched by the RBZ in 2016 as part of initiatives to capacitate small-scale miners and boost gold production.
This has seen small-scale miners break production records and deliver more gold than large-scale heavy weight mining power houses.
At its inception, the facility was $20 million but the Central Bank kept on increasing the fund due to its high uptake by the miners.
Government has said mining among other key sectors such as agriculture will play a key role towards achieving Vision 2030 of Zimbabwe becoming a middle-income economy.