Gold export earnings fall 18%



Zimbabwe’s gold export earnings fell 18% to US$527.54m in the first four months from the same period last year on low deliveries, the country’s sole buyer and marketer of the yellow metal, Fidelity Gold Refinery has said.

In the same period last year export earnings were US$640m.

Fidelity Gold Refinery general manager Peter Magaramombe (pictured) attributed the decline in export earnings to lack of technology to extract the resource resulting in low deliveries.

Deliveries, Magaramombe said, declined by 16% to 8.57 tonnes in the period under review from the 10.176 tonnes delivered during the same period last year weighed down by heavy rains, which affected mining.

“During the first four months of 2023, gold prices on the international market were very firm but lack of good technology during the rain peak period affected gold miners especially the small scale extractors” Magaramombe told Business Times.

Gold deliveries fell 4% to 2.376 tonnes in April 2023 against 2.481 tonnes achieved in the same period last year.

Gold export receipts went down 15% to US$150.812m in April 2023 from US$176.9m during the comparable period.

Magaramombe said the rains have heavily impacted the small-scale gold miners, who contributed over 60% of the total gold production, as they are failing to mine due to high water levels.

Fidelity Gold Refinery is advocating the capacitation of artisanal and small-scale miners to ramp up production in the wake of heavy rains.

In January this year, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube unveiled a US$10m loan facility for small-scale miners to boost production as the government targets an output of 60 tonnes this year.

The loan facility has a tenure of between three and six years.

The first US$5m is for artisanal gold small-scale miners’ funds while the other US$5m is for a gold service centre revolving facility.

The facility comes at a time when investment in the mining sector is limited as most investors are reluctant to support the artisanal and small-scale miners due to the inherent risk and complex way of doing business by these miners.

The US$5m gold service centre revolving facility will result in the construction of six gold service centres to improve access to critical facilities by artisanal gold small-scale miners.


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