- April 16, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
Gold deliveries to the country’s sole gold buyer and exporter Fidelity Printers and Refiners have risen by 54.57 percent in March to 1.8 tonnes compared to 1.117 tonnes delivered in February.
Deliveries during the first quarter of 2021 ended 31 March, however, declined by 30.448 percent to 3.98 tonnes from the 5.72 tonnes achieved in the same period last year.
Gold deliveries to Fidelity in January and February have been extremely low prompting experts to forecast that gold deliveries are going to reach the all-time low in 2021 since 2016.
The rapid decline in deliveries has been blamed on excessive rains the country received this year which made many small-scale miners down tools due to rising water tables resulting in high production costs.
Zimbabwe earns much of its foreign currency from mining, with gold being one of the major contributors.
However, the sector is facing a myriad of challenges including delays in payment for deliveries, power cuts, and smuggling of the mineral to countries such as South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
Authorities estimate that between 30 and 35 tonnes of the yellow precious metal is being smuggled annually the reason why gold buyers affiliated to Fidelity and mobilized to buy gold from all the artisanal miners in the country to deliver to the sole gold buyer and exporter.
Through the Zimbabwe Gold Buyers Association which was formed last month to curb smuggling and encourage gold deliveries, deliveries are expected to up by 60 percent by June. The association is led by popular gold buyer Pedzisai “Scott” Sakupwanya who delivered 980 kgs in two months.
The Government has of late been engaging mining firms with a view to forge a common understanding and ensure the sector makes optimal contributions to medium-term national economic growth prospects.
In this context, the Government and mining houses have engaged on issues to do with value addition, beneficiation, formalisation of informal gold mining, long-term capitalisation of mines as well maintaining the viability of gold mining.