Proliferation of new projects lifts Zim’s 9-month gold output
By Almot Maqolo
HARARE – Gold supplies to Fidelity Printers and Refinery (FPR) increased by 35.31 percent to 25,67 tonnes in the nine months leading up to September 2022, continuing an upward trend from the 18,97 tonnes delivered during the same period in 2021. With only four months left in the year, deliveries would need to average roughly 3,18 tonnes per month until then in order to meet the country’s revised objective of 35 tonnes in deliveries. However, given that annual purchases have averaged 2.9 tonnes per month, this appears reasonable.
Small-scale miners supplied 2,39 tonnes, a 5.75 percent increase over August and a 10.14 percent increase over the previous year, exceeding their two-tonne production goal. They delivered a total of 17 tonnes in 2022, up from 10,9 tonnes the previous year, and are on track to meet the target of three tonnes per month. Primary producer deliveries decreased from 1,1 tonnes in August to 0,988 tonnes in comparison to 1,0 tonnes in the same month last year. The recent uptick in the performance of the gold sector has been fuelled by favourable commodity pricing trends on a worldwide scale since last year.
The government’s goal of 9.5% growth in the mining sector by 2022 is expected to be significantly aided by the yellow metal. In his mid-term review and supplemental budget for 2022, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube stated that the government has set aside US$10 million to create gold centres in each province. This is done to improve the efficiency of small-scale miners with the eventual goal of producing
three tonnes of gold per month.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), on the other hand, underlined that it is enabling a lending facility to enable both new and current gold mining operations in order to capacitate production. Since then, it has vowed to keep the advantageous incentive system in place and to advocate for laws that encourage investment in the gold mining industry. By year’s end, it is predicted that Zimbabwe’s overall foreign exchange earnings will reach US$7.3
billion, driven by rising mineral revenues from the surge in mineral commodity prices as well as rising agricultural and manufactured exports.
According to the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, a number of factors, including the proliferation of new projects, particularly at Eureka, RioZim, Blanket Mine, and How Mine, contributed to the growth in output during the period under review. Additionally, in response to higher gold prices, mines whose production costs had previously outpaced returns have subsequently resumed operations. Gold supplies through official channels were encouraged by the competitive gold prices.
In response to rising gold prices, subpar mines have restarted production, greatly increasing the amount of gold produced. Small-scale miners have also increased their delivery through official channels. Primary producers, however, claimed that unfavourable profit retention policies, insufficient electricity supply, a lack of recapitalization funding, and other factors continue to hinder them.