Gold deliveries up in first two months
Harare (New Ziana) -Gold deliveries in the first two months of the year totalled 3.951 tonnes, a marginal increase from 3.907 tonnes in the comparable period last year, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, the country’s main buyer of the precious metal has said.
It attributed the increase to the registration of more official buying agents, those that purchase the metal from scale scale miners on its behalf.
Of the tonnage, small scale miners contributed the bulk – 2.09 tonnes. On the other hand, big miners contributed 1.3 tonnes during the period.
“The increase can be attributed to deliveries brought through by buying agents that were issued with permits at the start of the year,” Fidelity Printers and Refiners said.
In 2019, the country’s annual gold deliveries declined 16 percent to 27.6 tonnes from 33.2 tonnes in 2018.
The figure was way below the 40 tonne target, although the output was the second highest since independence in 1980.
Correspondingly, gold export earnings last year went down 28 percent to US$946 million from US$1.33 billion in 2018.
The drop in production could be linked to smuggling of the yellow metal due to unfavourable local payment modalities.
According to Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, close to 34 tonnes of gold is smuggled annually, mainly to South Africa.
Zimbabwe is targeting to be producing 100 tonnes of gold per year by 2023, part of a drive to achieve export earnings of US$12 billion by the mining sector by that time.