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LocalNews

Gold deliveries from ASM decline

By Business Reporter

Friday 9 October 2020

HARARE (Mining Index) – GOLD deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) by Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM) significantly dropped during the third quarter of 2020, recording 1462.213 tonnes compared to 2478.1176 tonnes delivered in the second quarter of 2020.

Primary producers surpassed deliveries by ASM during the period under review recording 2576.515 tonnes, marginally higher compared to the previous quarter which recorded 2411.658 tonnes.

Total gold delivered to Fidelity for the period under review totalled 4038.728 tonnes, a slight decline from the prior quarter which raked in 4,889.78 tonnes of gold.

The 4038.728 tonnes of the bullion delivered to Fidelity during the last quarter, was over 50 percent lower comparative to 8,327.53 delivered in the same period in 2019.

The month of August recorded the lowest output for both primary and the ASM sector at 1270.2141 tonnes, followed by September recording 1362.1444 tonnes while the month of July recorded the highest deliveries of 1406.3692 tonnes.

However, the month September was a boom for primary producers recording close to a tonne at 976.6670kgs. It was the opposite for the ASM sector which recorded its lowest deliveries at 385.4774kgs.

From January until September this year, bullion deliveries have persisted on a downward trend owing to a myriad of reasons including, but not limited to limited foreign currency to pay miners and import mining inputs, effects of Covid-19 and leakages.

Gold received by FPF for the second quarter of 2020 dropped, falling short of 1,633.71 tonnes from deliveries recorded in the first quarter of 2020. Total deliveries for the second quarter of 2020 stood at 4889.7758 tonnes, a decrease from the first quarter which recorded 5,721.71 tonnes.

Bullion delivered to Fidelity for the first quarter of 2020 also dropped to 5,721.71 tonnes compared to 6,523.49 tonnes delivered in the same period in 2019.

A total of 15 tonnes has been delivered to Fidelity since the beginning of 2020, while 10.6 tonnes was recorded for the period January to June 2020.

Fidelity is no longer hopeful to attain its ambitious 35 tonnes of gold by year end due to effects of the Covid-19.

“We are three months away from ending the year and we are currently on 15 tonnes. The 35 tonne gold output is a target which may not be attained due to factors highlighted above,” said FPR general manager Fradreck Kunaka.

Kunaka pointed the decline in gold deliveries to the effects of Covid-19.

“Deliveries this year have not been as expected because the year has been marked with unprecedented setbacks. We have had to work around the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic which have hampered most of our operations, thus the noticeable decline in gold deliveries,”

“As long as Covid-19 is upon us, the gold deliveries will likely not show any meaningful increase since we do not locally produce the mining inputs or the cash required to pay for the gold delivered by small scale miners,”

“It must be noted that the Covid-19 restrictions also affected movement of mining inputs thus causing the decline in the gold deliveries. The impacts of the lockdowns will continue to be felt up to end of year with a possibility of extending further given the reported second round of infections. There is a likelihood borders that were reopening being closed again thus further worsening the movement of mining inputs into the country,” said Kunaka.

Historical figures FY2019 reveal gold deliveries to Fidelity were 17 percent down at 27.66 tonnes from governments’ ambitious projection of 40 tonnes.

27.66 tonnes of gold were delivered to Fidelity FY2019, a decline from 33.2 tonnes delivered FY2018. ENDS// www.miningndex.co.zw

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