Gold sales up 40pc

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Oliver Kazunga

ZIM­BABWE’S gold sales in­creased by 40 per­cent to $1,4 bil­lion last year from $1 bil­lion in 2017, sta­tis­tics from Fidelity Print­ers and Re­fin­ers show.

Fidelity, which is the coun­try’s sole gold buy­ing unit and is su­per­in­tended by the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe also in­di­cated that dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view, pri­mary pro­duc­ers and small scale min­ers pro­duced a con­gre­gated out­put of 33,2 tonnes.

In 2017, the coun­try pro­duced 24,8 tonnes of yel­low metal.

Last year, small scale min­ers con­tin­ued to post a strong per­for­mance which jumped to 21, 7 tonnes while pri­mary pro­duc­ers ac­counted for 11, 5 tonnes.

Dur­ing the year un­der re­view, gold pro­duc­ers sur­passed the 30 tonnes that was set by the Gov­ern­ment and more ef­fort should be put in ca­pac­i­tat­ing the min­ers to at­tain the 100 tonnes per year pro­jec­tion in the next five years.

The 100 tonnes tar­get was in line with the Vi­sion 2030 by which Zim­babwe should be an up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy.

As the coun­try seeks to in­crease gold out­put, the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe has over the years come up with ini­tia­tives aimed at boost­ing pro­duc­tion in the sec­tor.

Such ini­tia­tives in­clude the gold sup­port fa­cil­ity which has been in­creased from $74 mil­lion, dis­bursed to 255 en­ti­ties in 2017 to $150 mil­lion.

In 2017, the gold sup­port fa­cil­ity to­gether with the pe­ri­odic on­site mon­i­tor­ing by the Gold Mo­bil­i­sa­tion Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­uted to im­proved gold de­liv­er­ies to Fidelity Print­ers from 21,439 tonnes in 2016 to 24,843 tonnes with small-scale min­ers ac­count­ing for 53 per­cent of the to­tal out­put.

Fidelity Print­ers has im­proved its gold mo­bil­i­sa­tion ca­pac­ity, amid in­di­ca­tions that it will soon be buy­ing the yel­low metal di­rectly from min­ers as it des­per­ately seeks to ar­rest leak­ages.

It is hoped that the gold mo­bil­i­sa­tion strat­egy will en­hance ac­count­abil­ity and stem il­le­gal trade of the min­eral.

In the 2019 bud­get, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube, an­nounced a raft of mea­sures aimed at en­hanc­ing per­for­mance of the min­ing sec­tor.

The mea­sures in­clude re­view­ing sur­ren­der re­quire­ments to en­sure con­tin­ued pro­duc­tion across all key min­er­als; deal­ing with min­ing claims held for spec­u­la­tive pur­poses as well as re­sus­ci­tat­ing closed and open­ing of new mines with po­ten­tial.

Zim­babwe holds the sec­ond largest gold re­serves per square kilo­me­tre in the whole world with 13 mil­lion tonnes of gold un­der­ground but since In­de­pen­dence, the coun­try has mined only 580 tonnes.

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