National News

Gold export receipts up 180%

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The value of export gold receipts jumped 180% to US$167.5m in January this year from US$59.9m reported in the same period last year on the back of increased output and firming prices, Business Times reports.

Gold deliveries to the country’s sole buyer and marketer of the yellow metal Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) also jumped 188% to 2.87 tonnes last month from 0.99 tonnes achieved in January last year.

This was attributed to improved mining policies.

“The total gold delivered to FPR in January 2022 stood at 2.867 tonnes at an average price of US$58 410 per kilogramme,” FPR acting general manager Peter Magaramombe said.

The small-scale miners delivered 2.05 tonnes in January this year compared to 0.355 tonnes delivered during the same period last year.

The large mining houses delivered 0.814 tonnes compared to 0.642 tonnes.

The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe CEO Isaac Kwesu said there was, however, a need for miners to improve production to capitalise on the current strong mineral prices.

“The firm commodity prices continue to be good for miners but there is a need to ramp up production to ensure that we have capitalised on that positive aspect,” Kwesu said.

Last year, the gold export receipts rose 42% to US$1.7bn compared to US$1.2bn earned in 2020.

This was after gold deliveries to FPR soared 55% to 29.6 tonnes. The previous year, deliveries stood at 19.05.

This was, however, less than the 33.4 tonnes of gold delivered in 2018.

The government introduced various initiatives, which appear to be paying dividends.

Gold is the third largest foreign currency earner after platinum and diaspora remittances.

However, the government has been battling smuggling of the yellow metal in the past few years owing to payment delays by FPR and low prices compared to those obtained on the international market.

Government has, however, rectified the problem. It’s now paying timeously and the prices are now at par with those on the international markets.

In addition, the central bank has also scrapped taxes on small scale miners to encourage deliveries through formal channels.

Experts say there is a need to review retention levels for the large-scale miners and the capacitation of small-scale miners to ramp up production.

On Monday, international gold prices stood at US$59 660 per kilogramme and Fidelity was paying above US$58 870 per kg to those who delivered over 20kg.

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

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