Zimbabwe’s gold exports rose 42% last year raking in US$1.7bn compared to US$1.2bn earned in the previous year on the back of increased output and firming prices, the central bank has said.
“The country’s gold export receipts have gone up 42% to US$1.7bn during 2021 from US$1.2bn earned during 2020 due to improved gold output and firm prices,” central bank chief John Mangudya told Business Times.
The yellow metal deliveries to the country’s sole buyer and marketer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR), soared 55% to 29.6 tonnes in the period under review from 19.05 tonnes achieved in 2020.
This was attributed to timeous payments and incentives given to gold producers.
Although the deliveries were higher than that achieved in 2020, the figures are less than the 33.4 tonnes of gold delivered in 2018.
Mangudya said a number of initiatives were rolled by the central bank and the government paid dividends, resulting in a surge in deliveries.
Primary producers delivered 11.15 tonnes of gold while small scale gold producers contributed 18.4 tonnes.
The secondary miners such as the platinum miners are still working on their quantum delivered to FPR.
Mangudya said the central bank commends the government for the Gold Incentive Scheme introduced in May 2021.
Gold is the third largest foreign currency earner after platinum and diaspora remittances.
However, the yellow metal has in the past been smuggled due to payment delays by FPR and low prices compared to those obtaining on the international market.
Authorities have rectified the problem with payment being timeous and prices at par with those on the international markets.
On Tuesday this week international gold prices stood at US $58 318 per kilogramme and Fidelity was paying above US$57 500 per kg to those who delivered above 20kg.
In addition, the central bank has also scrapped taxes on small scale miners to encourage deliveries through formal channels.
Experts, however, said there was a need to review retention levels for the large scale miners and capacitation of small scale miners to further ramp up production.
The government has moved to provide equipment in gold centres to move towards helping the attainment of the US$4bn gold export revenue target.