Zimbabwe miners deliver 33.3 tonnes of gold

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s gold deliveries up to November totalled 33.3 tonnes this year, a 31 percent increase from 25.3 tonnes delivered over the same period last year, Fidelity Printers and Refiners said on Thursday.

Of the total gold deliveries so far, small scale miners contributed 22.9 tonnes while the remainder came from big producers.

Experts attributed the improved contribution of small-scale producers to timeous payments to the miners by Fidelity Printers and Refiners, the country’s main buyer of the metal.

In 2021, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced a 5 percent incentive for gold deliveries above 20kg by small- scale miners. This was done in attempts to curb rampant smuggling of the precious metal.

The central bank projected that the country would produce 35 tonnes of gold this year, up from 29. 6 tonnes of gold delivered to Fidelity Gold Refinery in 2021.

Commenting on the continued improved deliveries, Zimbabwe Miners Federation chief executive officer Wellington Takavarasha said collaborative efforts by stakeholders had encouraged small- scale producers to sell gold through formal channels.

“More to it is because of the incentive introduced by the government which has been encouraging deliveries. Also there has been a good improvement in terms of cash payment by Fidelity Printers; previously there were issues of delay,” he told ZimLive Thursday.

According to a research organisation, International Crisis Group, more than $1.5 billion of gold from small scale miners is smuggled out of Zimbabwe annually.

But Takavarasha said the new incentives has contributed significantly in efforts to overturn the vice.

“If deliveries to Fidelity Printers are going up, it means there is no longer a reason to smuggle gold,” he said.

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