By Business Reporter – Friday 8 March 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – 2.14 TONNES of gold were delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) during the month of February 2019, up from 1.77 tonnes delivered in January albeit an anticipated monthly average delivery of 3.33 tonnes.
This creates a gold target deficit of 1.19 tonnes for the month of February, a cumulative 2.75 tonnes since January 2019.
February deliveries were higher relative to 2.01 tonnes delivered same period in 2018.
“There were no challenges experienced during the month. In fact, gold deliveries for the month surpassed last year’s deliveries of 2.01 tonnes,” said FPR General Manager Fradreck Kunaka.
The improvement in gold deliveries is despite the downward revision of foreign currency retention threshold for hard currency and RTGS dollars to 55:45 percent respectively announced by the central bank governor last month in the mid-term monetary policy statement.
Previously, miners were getting 70 percent foreign currency with the 30 percent paid in local currency.
While there has been calls by miners for government to consider paying 90 percent of world price in hard currency to curb gold leakages, Kunaka said it is a notion government can consider if it benefits national agenda.
“The authorities responsible, if they see it fit can change the payment model in line with the broad national objectives.”
Kunaka also said his organisation is unable to quantify the amount of gold lost through smuggling as FPR is not privy to the amount of gold traded on the parallel market.
“We have no capacity to quantify the amount of gold being lost through leakages due to the underground nature of the activity where illegal gold buyers dispose of their gold to the parallel market.”
Government set a 40 tonne gold output target for 2019, after surpassing 30 tonnes benchmarked in 2018 which saw 33.2 tonnes delivered to FPR in 2018.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) countered governments 2019 gold target, expecting to surpass the 40 tonnes by an additional 10 tonnes, bringing the total gold production for 2019 to 50 tonnes. ENDS//