- 12,779.29 kg delivered to FPR in the 7 months to July 2021
- Small scale gold producers contributed 52.8% of the total gold deliveries
- Gold exports in 2021 forecasted to be higher than in 2020
- On account of the recently introduced 2.5 – 5% gold delivery incentive
Gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR) remain underwhelmingly low although there is hope that the incentives recently introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will help spur deliveries henceforth.
According to the statistics provided by the Central Bank in the 2021 Mid-Term Monetary Policy Statement released on Thursday 5 August 2021, gold deliveries to FPR from January to July 2021 stand at 12,779.29 kilogrammes, just 6% ahead of 12,017.85 kgs delivered during the same period last year.
Small scale gold producers contributed 52.8% of the total gold deliveries to FPR during the first seven months period compared with the 55.8% delivered for the same period in 2020.
“Gold exports in 2021 are forecasted to be higher than in 2020 on account of the recently introduced 2.5 – 5% gold delivery incentive and the COVID 19 induced restriction that could have curtailed gold leakages through smuggling,” RBZ Governor, Dr John Mangudya said.
There was a remarkable surge in gold deliveries in the months of June and July 2021 recorded at 2 924.3 kg and 2 824.6 kg respectively compared to June and July 2020 deliveries of 1 409.6 kg and 1 406.4 kg respectively.
Smuggling has remained a major challenge with the most gold believed to be smuggled into neighbouring South Africa and Dubai.
Authorities estimate that between 30 and 35 tonnes of the yellow metal is smuggled out of the country annually and a monthly value of at least US$100 million is lost through the illicit channels. This means that the country is getting way less through the official channels than what is lost through illegal marketing.
Other drawbacks that have hit the mining sector over the last couple of years include unstable power supply, heavy rains which results in the flooding of shafts as well as working capital challenges.
In the last three years, the country saw its annual gold production tumble from 33,2 tonnes achieved in 2018 to 27,66 tonnes in 2019 which was lower than the 40 tonnes target and subsequently declined further to 19,052 tonnes in 2020.
The government is planning to transform the mining sector into a US$12 billion industry by 2023 underpinned by anticipated higher earnings from gold and platinum group of metals (PGMs). Focus Mining