- July 3, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe’s sole gold buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) has cleared close to US$3 million in outstanding arrears for gold sale proceeds by the small-scale miners.
Under the gold trading framework, FPR is required to effect instant pay-outs at a flat rate of US$45 per gramme to small scale miners for the yellow metal sales while primary producers have 70% of their sale proceeds receipted into their respective Nostro Accounts.
In recent months, the gold buyer has been delaying effecting spontaneous payments to small-scale miners delaying by at least a week.
FPR has attributed this to the global lockdown which adversely impacted on the transgression of commodities including forex into the country.
Speaking by telephone, FPR general manager Mr Fradreck Kunaka said the situation has normalised as they have cleared all the outstanding arrears that have been dating back to June.
“We have cleared all the arrears that had accumulated for gold sales by the small-scale miners.
“The outstanding payments had risen to just under US$3 million as of June and all that, as of yesterday (Thursday), we were up to date with the arrears and we were paying even walk-in customers across all our networks in the country,” he said.
Of late, the small-scale miners have expressed displeasure over payment delays saying production was also being affected as they were failing to procure mining consumables on time.
Mr Kunaka said it was FPR’s hope that the operating environment was reverting to normalcy as global markets have begun reopening facilitating the movement of cargo including hard currency, which the institution was importing.
“I think you would also appreciate that the bulk of most commodities’ movement has been affected by the lockdown.
“And that has not also sparred us in terms of the movement of the commodity that these small-scale miners want to be paid in,” said the FPR boss.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was first detected in China in December 2019, countries around the world went on national lockdown as part of measures to contain the viral infection.
In Zimbabwe, the disease was detected towards the end of March forcing the country to embark on national lockdown, which has since been relaxed.