Gold deliveries surge to all-time high

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

 

Gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) more than doubled to 2.94 tonnes in August from 1.27 tonnes reported in the same month last year amid rising confidence after authorities benchmarked prices to those offered on the international market.

The August figures are the highest delivery level this year. The closest was June figures of 2.92 tonnes.

FPR gold operations head, Mehluleli Dube, said the recently promulgated policies such scrapping of taxes on small scale miners have spurred on deliveries.

“This has seen August deliveries reaching 2.94 tonnes from 1.27 tonnes in August last year with total deliveries soaring 20% to 15.8 tonnes from 13.2 tonnes last year,” Dube said.

He said despite June having high figures, the overall gold deliveries were below those of 2020 with a first overall increase started to be recorded in July.

Experts said the country will surpass last year’s gold export receipts due to an increase in gold deliveries and firming international gold prices.

In June this year, RBZ scrapped taxes on small scale miners, began timeous payments and paid the prevailing international gold prices.

Those who deliver over 20 kilogrammes per month are given an extra 5% incentive and this has pushed volumes.

The introduction of incentives and timeous payments has reduced smuggling. Small scale miners delivered 1.91 tonnes in August 2021 and large miners delivered 1.03 tonnes in the period.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation chief executive Wellington Takavarasha said delivering to FPR was now more lucrative than all other buyers which has seen his constituency delivering the yellow metal through official channels.

“We have upped our own game to deliver almost 500kg per week from 400kg per week a month ago due to high prices and incentives for those who deliver 20% and above,” Takavarasha said.

The government has moved to provide equipment in gold centres to move towards helping the attainment of US$4bn gold export revenue.

The government wants to establish new gold centres following a sudden increase in output.

The gold centres are expected to provide basic equipment such as compressors and jackhammers as well as working capital to facilitate optimal production by small-scale miners who supply gold ore.

In August, the Cabinet approved proposals for the establishment of over 20 gold centres by mid-2022.

Accordingly, memoranda of understanding will be signed with four investors who have been identified for the purpose of setting up the gold centres.

The investors will own 100% equity in the centres, while those who operate joint ventures with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development will fully fund the operations of the centres in return for a 90% equity stake.

Some of the gold centres are expected to be established in Makaha, Odzi, Mount Darwin, Shamva, Mazowe and Silobela.

 

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