- August 16, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
ARTISANAL and small-scale gold miners continue to lead in gold production after they delivered 700 kilogrammes of the yellow metal to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) in July.
The figure was higher than the 650 kilogrammes delivered by large-scale mining entities in July. The high delivery volumes by small-scale miners is attributed to the recent move by FPR to benchmark gold payments on the London Bullion Market (LMBA), which has seen local miners getting paid in United States dollars only.
The LBMA is the world’s authority for precious metals that also sets standards that define how precious metals are refined, as well as traded worldwide. Gold is one of the country’s top foreign currency earners. The yellow metal grossed more than US$1,6 billion in 2018 for the export of 33 tonnes which now stands as the industry’s all-time peak in recent history.
Responding to questions from Sunday Business on Wednesday, FPR general manager Mr Fradreck Kunaka said although the sub-sector’s contribution was high, the whole sectors’ contribution was commendable.
“At Fidelity Printers and Refiners we always aim at offering the miners’ value for their gold. As from the 17th of July, 2020 the payment of gold was reviewed from paying $45 flat fee on fine gold to 100 percent United States dollars payment benchmarked against the prevailing LBMA exchange rate,” said Mr Kunaka.
Mr Kunaka said small scale producers were in the lead in terms of gold delivery statistics, as indicated by data at hand as of last month
“FPR got 1 406 3692 kg in total. Primary producers brought in 658 4123 kg while small-scale producers delivered 747 9569 kg.”
He said FPR’s had the aspiration to encourage artisanal and small-scale miners to remain competitive and discourage them from pursuing the black market.
“Payments in United States dollars that are benchmarked against the prevailing LBMA exchange rate are a move meant to encourage the gold miners to sell using the formal channels and to shun the black market,” said Mr Kunaka.
Earlier in the year, small scale miners expressed discontent with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s decision to pay gold producers 55 percent of their earnings in United States (US) dollars and 45 percent in local currency. The Central bank had defended the lowered foreign currency holding threshold by saying there was a need to preserve the scarce foreign currency.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation spokesperson Mr. Dosman Mangisi said the move by FPR to accede to the miners request had changed the fortunes of gold miners.
“The livelihood of miners has greatly improved although there are some areas that still need to be resolved. We commend the payment of 100 percent United States dollars,” said Mr. Mangisi.
The Sunday News