The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) says Government must relax requirements under the gold support scheme to enable more miners to benefit.
ZMF national chairman Mr Lufeyo Shato said most small scale miners were failing to access the loan facility due to stringent conditions, which was affecting production.
“We have had challenges of most miners failing to access the gold support facility, especially due to the issue of collateral,” he said.
“We have been having discussions with the central bank so that the miners can access those funds through their associations.”
Mr Shato said it was easy for the loans to be disbursed through the associations as they had databases of members who were doing well and remitting their gold through official channels.
Presenting the 2018 Monetary Policy Statement early this month, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya announced an increase in the gold support facility to $150 million from $74 million that had been disbursed by December 31 last year.
Last year, small-scale miners contributed 53 percent of the 24,8 tonnes of gold that was delivered to RBZ’s gold buying unit, Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
The facility has also been extended to other minerals such as chrome, whose production increased last year on the back of the lifting of the chrome export ban.
Last year, chrome exports rose to 632 000 tonnes compared to close to 197 000 tonnes realised in 2016.
This saw the chrome sector raking in $250 million in exports receipts, with chrome concentrates contributing $58 million in foreign currency earnings.
In contrast, the country earned $64 million and $9 million from the two resources respectively in 2016.