Story by Stanley James, Business Editor
Zimbabwe’s gold mining industry has started the year on a positive note after deliveries to Fidelity Gold Refinery rose by 25 percent in January to over two tonnes from below a ton during the same period last year.
Statistics compiled by Fidelity Gold Refinery indicate that miners have defied the rain-induced January conditions by scaling up production.
The move also reflects compliance by the gold miners to a government directive on responsible and sustainable mining activities during the rainfall season.
For the month under review, small scale better known as artisanal miners are dominating overall production levels at 60 percent.
Large-scale gold mining entities account for the remaining 40 percent, riding on massive recapitalisation systems.
Favourable international gold mineral prices hovering around US$2 000 an ounce are also expected to boost viability for the sector.
A report by the Chamber of Mines shows that the yellow metal continues to be pivotal in the economy as it is the main foreign currency-earning commodity.
Central bank authorities have reaffirmed their commitment towards rebuilding the country’s gold reserves in line with global best practices.
The move has been made at a time when gold miners are now paying half of their royalties to the central bank in kind, with the remainder being paid in cash to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).
The country is expecting at least 40 tonnes of the yellow metal this year.