By Business Reporter – Friday 15 May 2020
LOCAL – HARARE (Mining Index) – FIDELITY Printers and Refiners (FPR) says the current COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected foreign currency inflows into the country, leaving the state-owned gold buyer unable to satisfy local demand.
“The Covid-19 pandemic which has had negative effects that have affected the operation to full capacity of the whole economy has not spared the inflow of foreign currency into the country. The USD is imported and with the lockdown, the operation of flights has been affected, with reduced movement, cash has not been received as frequently to satisfy the demand,” said FPR’s general manager, Fradreck Kunaka.
Miners who delivered their gold to FRP provincial buying centres earlier this week revealed Fidelity had no USD to pay for gold but only had Zimbabwean bond notes.
Miners say they were however advised the USD will be available from Monday next week.
“On that you can get more information from Fidelity themselves just know they didn’t have. They promised to have by Monday,” said one ASM miner who had delivered her gold in Chinhoyi.
“FPR has been diligently paying all the miners who deliver their gold using the formal channels and with the relaxation on the lockdown measures, we are hoping we will start receiving cash and all payments will normalise,” said Kunaka.
Although current data could not be obtained, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mangudya in July 2018 revealed the apex bank had doubled cash imports to US$100 million per month.
Asked on projected allocation Fidelity requires every week and per month to fully service all gold deliveries nationwide, Kunaka could not be drawn to reveal allocation estimates.
“The allocation needed per week or per month is determined by gold received so we cannot state the exact figure as it varies from week to week and from month to month,” he said.
He however revealed Harare and Mashonaland West topped the list of provinces with more gold deliveries since the beginning of 2020.
“We have had good deliveries from Harare and Mashonaland West Provinces since the start of the year,” he said. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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