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    Saturday, 23 April 2016

    Fidelity fails to pay miners




    ELIZABETH MASHIRI
    ZVISHAVANE BUREAU

    ZVISHAVANE
    – There are fears that small scale miners may start selling their gold production to the black market as Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) is failing to pay them in time.
    When contacted for comment, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa said that he was not aware of that situation.
    "I am not aware that Fidelity is not paying miners but I will investigate with the RBZ to see what is going on," said Chidhakwa
    Zvishavane and Mberengwa Miners Association chairperson, Themba Sibanda told The Mirror that of recent Fidelity has been failing to pay miners and this is a huge blow as the situation was crippling operations.
    "Recent Fidelity has been failing to pay miners in time and this is a big blow to us because we leave from hand to mouth. The cash we get from the market is the same cash we want to come and use to start production.
    "Our business is hand to mouth in the sense that when I sell l have to pay my workers and go back to production so if I am not paid by Fidelity l will not be able to pay my workers hence no production," said Sibanda.
    He said that they have as an association appealed to Government to identify companies with cash which can buy gold from the miners.
    "If Government does not want to lose gold to the black markets, it's better for them to identify companies which they register to buy gold from us," said Sibanda.
    One miner who also spoke to The Mirror said that this issue may result in some mine owners getting killed by their workers.
    "Work on mines is tough and emotions run high when workers fail to get paid. When we take our gold to the market we leave our workers outside the bank waiting to be paid and they don't appreciate when we come out without money.
    Some of our employees do not understand what we mean if we say Fidelity has no money," said the miner.   
    This problem has however, come at a time when Government had set a target of 10 tonnes production for small scale miners this year. So far five tonnes had been realised but because of the current draw back the target may not be reached.business news
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