The country’s sole buyer and exporter of gold, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) says it will “soon” engage the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) over taxes charged on miners in a bid to attract small scale miners to sell on the formal market.
Zimbabwe’s mining sector has high tax burden which discourages small scale miners to formalise hence more gold will be lost through parallel market.
FPR acting general manager Peter Magaramombe said the sole buyer will remove all hurdles in its way to chase the 100 tonne target by 2023.
“We will engage Zimra to lessen the tax burden on small scale miners so as to lure them to sell to the formal channel by giving them friendly tax regime. As long as we continue with punitive taxes gold will continue to be sold on parallel market hence we should make a plan on reduced taxes,” Magaramombe said.
An average of three tonnes is believed to have been sold on the parallel market monthly.
Magaramombe said there are plans to increase presence by establishing more gold buying centres in all active regions.
“We are facilitating a loan facility to capacitate existing and new gold mining ventures so as to increase production,” he said.
Gold is Zimbabwe’s third largest foreign currency earner after platinum and diaspora remittances.
It is one of the most liquid minerals thereby fuelling smuggling as small scale miners opt for higher prices.
In the past, Fidelity Printers and Refiners was paying below the international prices and the money would come after more than a month, thereby creating a fertile ground for smuggling.
That has been rectified and miners are paid at prevailing international prices
Gold deliveries rose 45% to 25.36 tonnes during the 11 months of the year from 17.44 tonnes delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners during the same period last year due to improved mining conditions and incentives.
From the cumulative 25.36 tonnes delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners, small scale miners accounted for 15.21 tonnes with primary producers delivering 10.14 tonnes. – Business Times