New measures to stimulate gold production



Fidelity Gold Refiners (FGR), the country’s sole buyer and marketer of gold, has implemented a number of measures to increase production  of the yellow metal as part of efforts to meet the 40 tonnes gold target this year, Business Times can report.

These include expanding the network of gold centers and agents across the nation, speeding up payments, and opening the headquarters on weekends to facilitate delivery and payments.

Fidelity was paying after seven or more days after deliver of the yellow metal.

But, the period has now been reduced to few days.

The change follows this year’s underwhelming performance.

Apparently, gold deliveries stood at 19.335 tonnes in the first eight months of this year, with three and a half months left in the year.

Of the total gold deliveries, 11.66 tonnes were delivered by small-scale miners who accounted for  60% of total deliveries.

Large scale miners accounted for 7.66 tonnes during the last eight months.

The latest development was revealed by FGR general manager Peter Magaramombe.

He told Business Times: “We have come up with a number of measures to recover and meet our  40 tonne gold target. These measures include opening the headquarters during weekends, increasing gold buying centres and agents across the country  and reducing payment time to ensure working capital is always available for miners.

“We have also resolved that the small scale miners are paid on spot and the large scale miners will be paid within the banks time of processing as cash is now available at all times. With these measures we will see where we will be by the end of the year. We will say we haven’t reached the target after December 31 2023,” Magaramombe said.

He said gold deliveries were mainly affected by low deliveries in January and February as well as August.

“During the first quarter, gold deliveries were affected by the  rains.

“During this third quarter, we were affected by elections as many miners were involved in the electoral processes. That’s the main reason for the dip in deliveries,” Magaramombe said.

The Gold Miners Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) CEO, Irvine Chinyenze, said as long as government’s policies remain punitive deliveries are going to remain low.

“We are not perpetuating criminality but the authorities should significantly reduce taxes to attract miners to allow deliveries to FGR,” he said.

Chinyenze said gold deliveries have been hampered by inconsistent payments as incapacitated small-scale miners search for other ways to be paid immediately.

It is said small-scale mining should not remain archaic by using a pick and a shovel, but rather should have advanced by mechanising, acquiring technical know-how, skills, and resources, but miners are still unable to work.

This has promoted gold smuggling and destroyed the building of gold reserves.

Experts are , however, doubtful of a US$4bn gold export revenue this year, given that the receipts have just gone past US$1bn.


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