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ZiG under threat as gold output declines

ZiG under threat as gold output declines

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando

Nyashadzashe Ndoro

Chief Reporter

Zimbabwe’s gold output has fallen by 1.9% in the first quarter of 2024, raising fears that the country’s recently introduced gold-backed currency, the Zimbabwe Gold, could be threatened.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was hoping that increased gold output would shore up the ZiG currency.

The Mines and Mining Development Ministry is trying to plug the leakages of minerals by dispatching 15 teams to nine mining provinces to carry out this year’s first quarter gold mobilisation exercise.

The government is also supporting small-scale miners with various strategies to enhance production.

In the first four months of 2024, large-scale miners delivered 4.3 tonnes of gold to Fidelity Gold Refineries, compared to 3.4 tonnes in the same period of 2023, representing a 26% increase. This increase is due to expansion projects and the use of new technology by large-scale miners.

However, gold delivery from small-scale miners, who were the main contributors to the country's gold output, has fallen by 23% in the first quarter.

Small-scale miners delivered 4 tonnes of gold to FGR in 2024, compared to 5.2 tonnes in 2023. Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, yesterday said that the ministry is investigating the decline in gold deliveries from small-scale miners.

“For small-scale miners, the gold deliveries to FGR (Fidelity Gold Refineries) have decreased from 5.2 tonnes in 2023 to four tonnes in 2024, a 23% decrease. The small-scale miners have contributed 48% of the gold delivered to FGR for the year 2024 as compared to 60% contribution for the previous year, 2023.

“Over the years since 2020, small-scale miners have been the major contributors to gold deliveries to FGR, contributing more than 60%. However, for the year 2024, the contribution by small-scale miners is ranging between 42% and 53% which calls for investigations into the decline in gold deliveries,” Chitando said.

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