Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma
Zimbabwe’s monthly gold output has been on a steady increase averaging at least 1,56 tonnes a month since November last amid rising expectations that it will surpass the 33 tonnes record for 2018.
In a recent interview, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura, confirmed the rise in the monthly gold output after a slump in October last year.
“In October, gold production partly dropped, but it started rising again resulting in the collection of 1,4 tonnes in November while in December and January we recorded 1,6t and 1,7t, respectively,” he said.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said despite the monthly increase the gold collected in January this year slightly dropped compared to the same period last year.
“In January last year, 2,5 tonnes of gold were delivered to Fidelity Printers against 1,7 tonnes delivered this year,” he said.
The decrease is alleged to have been temporarily necessitated by review of the Monetary Policy Statement in January last year as the Bond Note had much power on the parallel market.
However, the local currency has since dropped against the US dollar forcing artisanal miners to trade on the black market.
Last year, Fidelity Printers and Refiners initiated investigations on registered gold buying agents amid indications of rampant black market dealings, which could be prejudicing Zimbabwe of millions of dollars.
This comes against a backdrop of some registered gold buying agents, particularly in Matabeleland and Midlands, buying a gramme of gold at $48 (bond notes) and US$38/gramme in cash.
This was in violation of Fidelis Printers and Refineries regulations, which require buying agents to pay 70 percent through bank transfer and 30 percent cash.
To secure gold, some agents are paying 100 percent cash and the gold is not forwarded to Fidelity Printers and Refineries because they are not issuing out receipts.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Kambamura said apart from gold mining locals should also start mining resources that are highly paying on the market like lithium and manganese.