74 million loan facility for small-scale miners
By Philemon Mokuele/11/04/18
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a loan facility amounting to 74 million dollars in December 2017 targeting small scale miners who are becoming a major player in the revival of the economy.
The objective of the loan facility was to increase production, uplift the livelihoods of small scale miners though this was a failure due to lack of collateral required which was beyond the reach of many marred by unfair distribution of resources and centralisation of the facility. Despite Zimbabwe having more than 35 000 registered small scale miners only 300 benefitted from the scheme.
It is however pleasing to note that, in Matabeleland South, an emerging Small Scale mining company has rolled out a project of giving out $250 000 at zero deposit with no collateral required. The company has got a group of geologists who approve 3 grams per tonne as enough collateral for a full package of machinery for one to develop to medium miners. A mine manager from the School of Mines helps out with operation until the full loan payment.
Several small scale miners were optimistic that the RBZ and Fidelity would enable them to buy a diamond drilling machine which is more accurate in taking samples and use that as collateral to small scale miners. If only the facility addressed the plight of the intended beneficiaries, their lives could have been transformed.