Gvt To Pay Artisanal Gold Miners 100 Percent In Forex

Small scale gold miners are set to receive 100 percent of their deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries in foreign currency as government seek to curb gold leakages into the black market.

Fidelity is state owned, and is the sole buyer of gold in the country.

Previously, the state was offering small scale producers up to 55 percent of their earnings in foreign currency with the remaining 45 percent paid in local currency at a fixed exchange rate.

This has led to most artisanal miners opting to sell their gold produce on the black market where they get their earnings wholly in foreign currency.

“Small scale gold buying agents and artisanal producers shall be paid in cash at a flat price of forty five United States Dollars per gram of fine gold,” Fidelity Printers and Refiners said in a statement released this morning.

However, gold companies will still cede some of its foreign currency earnings to the state albeit at a revised retention threshold of 70/30.

“Gold producers shall be paid under a 70/30 payment arrangement scheme in terms of which 70 Percent of the gold sale proceeds shall be paid unto the producer’s Nostro account and the balance of 30 percent shall be paid in local currency at the ruling exchange rate into the producer’s ZWL account,” said the statement.

Cash strapped Zimbabwean government has been relying on Foreign currency retained from producers of various commodities to settle the country’s external obligations such as fuel and electricity which are in short supply due to depleted foreign reserves.

Gold sector players have for a long time been calling on government to review the foreign currency retention policy to at least 75/25 percent in order to ensure producers are able to meet high operational costs in most cases requiring foreign currency.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) chief executive officer, Wellington Takavarasha in an interview with 263Chat Business said the body will issue a statement regarding the development tomorrow.

However, observers have expressed satisfaction over the decision to give small scale miners all of their earnings in hard currency to buffer them from the devaluating local currency.

Artisanal miners have been the bedrock of gold mining in the last few years providing the majority of gold output in the sector.

However due to the foreign currency retention policy, Artisanal miners deliveries to Fidelity dropped 19 percent to 17 tonnes against 22 tonnes delivered in 2018.

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