Oliver Kazunga/Lovemore Zigara, Business Reporters
ONE of the country’s leading gold mines, Freda Rebecca has earned $1,3 million in export incentive cash credits from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the period ended December 2016.
The monetary authority introduced a 2,5 percent export incentive to large mining exporters in May last year.
Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, in which Asa Resources, formerly Mwana Africa controls 85 percent shareholding, has also won the inaugural Best Large Scale Top Producer award from the central bank.
In a statement, Asa Resources announced that Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, in which the Group has an 85 percent interest, has received export incentive credits and a Top Producer award.
“Freda Rebecca earned $1.3m in export incentive cash credits for the period to December 2016.
“Freda Rebecca has also won the inaugural Best large Scale Top Producer award, which attracts an additional 2.5 percent export incentive bonus credits for the period January to December 2017,” said the group.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced a 2.5 percent export incentive scheme to large mining exporters effective 1st of May 2016. This was to address the challenges of low productivity and promote export earnings.”
Asa said Freda Rebecca would have a total export incentive in the next 12 months of five percent, which translates to more than $4.5 million in cash rebates from the RBZ.
Asa group chief executive officer Mr Yat Hoi Ning commented:
“This recognition is a great credit to the efforts of all the employees at Freda Rebecca and is an acknowledgement of the contribution we make to the Zimbabwean mining economy and the local community.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has recorded a surge in gold production by small-scale miners as well as the big mines in the month of January 2017, spurred by various interventions by Government in supporting the sector.
According to the latest statistics from Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) — the country’s sole buyer of the yellow metal, gold production stood at 1,637 tonnes for the month of January up from 1,459 tonnes during the same period last year.
Big scale mines contributed 923 kilogrammes (kgs) compared to 869kgs last year during the same period while small-scale players have increased their production to 714kgs from 591kgs.
However, the figure still falls short of the 2,4 tonnes per month, which local miners should produce if the country is to achieve its 28 tonnes gold target set by Government this year is to be achieved.
Last year gold producers failed to meet the national target of 24 tonnes after managing to remit 21,4 tonnes to FPR.
Small-scale miners lobby group, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF), has said their members could have produced more gold in January had it not been for the rains that hampered their operations.
ZMF spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi told Business Chronicle that heavy rains, which pounded the country over the past two months, have made mining operations difficult.
“We could have surpassed the current figure had it not been for the heavy rains, which we experienced over the past two months. While we appreciate efforts by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to avail mining equipment to the sector, there is a large number of our miners who have not accessed the equipment and therefore cannot work in these weather conditions and that slows down production,” he said.
“We are therefore working tirelessly so that we partner manufacturers of equipment, which can be availed to our members at concessionary rates.”
The efforts by ZMF to capacitate its members comes on the backdrop of support from the central bank after RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya availed a $20 million facility for small-scale miners meant to boost gold production.