Zim produces US$1,1b gold

Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya

Zimbabwe produced a total of 16 855kg or 594 543 ounces of gold in the first seven months of this year, translating to about US$1,1 billion in value, statistics from Fidelity Gold Refinery (FGR) show.

Last year in the same period, gold output stood at around 18 940 kgs.

As usual, in the period under review, small-scale miners outshined the primary producers, accounting for 61% of the total gold produced in the period under review.

For instance, they produced 10 287 kgs of gold compared to 6 568 kgs achieved by primary producers. 

The data obtained by Standardbusiness also show that gold in the second quarter of this year rose by 29% to 7 987 kgs. In July, gold output stood at 2 674 kgs.

In the period under review, gold prices averaged US$62 122 per kg or US$1 932 per ounce.

“This has encouraged us to want to produce more, mind you in 2022 we produced around 24 tonnes of gold,” Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya told Standardbusiness.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s mid-term monetary policy statement, gold deliveries that had been affected by incessant rains, particularly for small-scale and artisanal miners, during the beginning of the year have shown significant improvement.

The monetary policy document also noted the mining sector continues to support economic growth, benefiting largely from ongoing investments in lithium production, following a rise in global demand for the manufacture of batteries for electrical vehicles.

Overall growth in the mining sector during 2023 is now projected at 4,8%, benefiting from increases in the production of lithium, chrome, diamonds and platinum group metals.

Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary Pfungwa Kunaka recently told Standardbusiness that the government was looking forward to capacitate small-scale miners directly through loan schemes for equipment.

“We are looking at capacitating the miners directly through a loan scheme for equipment and other working capital requirements. This will be accessed throughout mining provinces,” Kunaka said.

“We will take models such as those in agriculture where farmers are capacitated and we have seen the results of capacitation in farming.

“We believe in gold we can also have that kind of development benefit.”

FGR general manager Peter Magaramombe early this year told our sister paper The Zimbabwe Independent that the company received 35 tonnes of gold in 2022, an increase of 18,9% from the same period in 2021.

“We have projected the gold deliveries in 2023 to reach 40 000 kg, an increase of 4 700 kg or 13,4% on 2022 gold deliveries,” Magaramombe said.

He said the increase in deliveries would be anchored by the expansion programme where additional gold buying centres will be opened in active regions to widen the existing catchment area while providing convenience to producers within targeted regions.

“FGR will continue to provide a competitive pricing framework benchmarked to the London Bullion Market Association prices at a discount of 5%,” Magaramombe said.

He indicated that the FGR will continue to offer United States dollar) spot cash payments for gold lodgments to ensure that small-scale gold producers are not constrained.

There are over 4 000 recorded gold deposits in Zimbabwe of which nearly all of them are located in ancient workings. The country remains under-explored to discover deposits away from these ancient workings.

More than 90% of gold deposits in Zimbabwe are associated with greenstone belts which are some of the richest in the world.

Other gold deposits occur in the Limpopo Mobile Belt in the south of the country and the Proterozoic Piriwiri rocks in the North-Western part of Zimbabwe.

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