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Fidelity targets 40 tonnes of gold

Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) has set a target of 40 tonnes this year if it maintains the current incentives and timeous payments for gold deliveries, an executive has said.

Gold deliveries in 2021 reached 29.6 tonnes up from 19 tonnes recorded in the previous year. Last year’s deliveries are expected to go up when the Platinum group metals include their tally of gold deliveries to Fidelity Gold Refinery.

“Our target for the year 2022 ranges from 36 tonnes to 40 tonnes and only if we maintain the current incentives and timeous payments to gold producers,” acting general manager Peter Magaramombe said.

“The maintenance of the 5% incentive to all gold producers who deliver 20kg and above will be our trump card and more ways have to be found to woo gold miners to deliver to us. Knowing that small-scale miners are critical, we will help them to register as they draw down from the Gold Initiative Development Fund.”

He said FPR will also engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) on addressing royalties, taxes and other statutory obligations to reduce the burden on the miners.

Miners have always complained about punitive taxes which gobble up to 20% of their revenue and this has caused the small scale players to stay away from formalisation.

“We are engaging the RBZ, ZIMRA and Treasury on the tax issues as miners see high taxes as one of the major hindrances to their success story.

“But what we have done so far is to reduce small scale miners to pay 1% of the royalties from 2% and after engagements at the highest level we will update on the developments”, Magaramombe said.

Last year, Zimbabwe’s value of gold exported went up 42% to US$1.7bn from US$1.2bn earned in 2020 due to improved gold output and firming prices.

Magaramombe commended the government for introducing the Gold Incentive Scheme last year which has led to the increase in deliveries via formal channels.

Analysts said there was, however, a need to review retention levels for the large scale miners and capacitation of small scale miners to ramp up production.

Gold is Zimbabwe’s third largest foreign currency earner after platinum and diaspora remittances.

Experts say there is a need to review retention levels for the large scale miners and capacitation of small scale miners to ramp up production.

On Tuesday, international gold prices stood at US $58 964 per kilogramme and Fidelity was paying above US$57 7500 per kg to those who delivered above 20kg.

The government has moved to provide equipment in gold centres to move towards helping the attainment of US$4bn gold export revenue. – (Business Times)

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