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Fidelity to roll out mobile gold buying units

by Staff reporter
14 Nov 2021 at 05:39hrs | Views
GOLD buying subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) is set to roll out mobile gold buying units next year, as part of efforts to curb leakages and smuggling of gold from the country.

According to the International Crisis Group, the smuggling of gold, Zimbabwe's top foreign currency earner, is estimated to cost the country US$1,5 billion in lost revenue per year.

The country is estimated to be losing at least US$100 million worth of gold every month from smuggling through the  borders, with FPR earlier this year announcing that Zimbabwe  had lost around 11 tonnes of gold to leakages in 2020.

In an interview, FPR acting general manager Mr Peter Magaramombe said as part of efforts to curb gold smuggling, they were going to roll out mobile gold buying units next year.

"We are considering that in the near future we are going to have some mobile gold buying units, which will be essential especially over the weekends so that we mop up the gold across the country.

We are likely to introduce this concept in 2022, as at the moment we are busy trying to make sure we set up the necessary structures so that come next year we implement some of these things," Mr Magaramombe told Sunday News in an interview.

He said the concept was adopted after realisation that banks would be closed on weekends, and there were unscrupulous dealers who were taking advantage of that and buying gold from miners.

"Over the weekend like on Saturday the banks close at 11.30am, so when our miners get to the bank after that time, they cannot get assistance as the banks would have been closed. So, they will not be able to sell their gold to us. Then when we look at a day like Sunday, banks are closed the whole day.

So again, they will not be able to sell the gold to us and as a result you will find out that there will be some other players on the black market who will take advantage of that and buy the gold from the miners," he said.

Meanwhile, in terms of the outcry by mining stakeholders to have the 60/40 percent gold retention policy whereby miners are paid 60 percent in foreign currency and the remainder in local currency reviewed, Mr Magaramombe said Government was aware of the issue and was working on resolving it.

"As you are aware that is a policy issue. The Government would have made a position to say because they have got various needs for the country, so they will say let's have a 60/40 percent gold retention so that 40 percent goes to Government so that they can be able to use that money for other key issues in the sector.

So, what it basically means is that the stakeholders in  Government will have to sit down on the issue, deliberate on it and agree on the way forward. But it's something that Government is seized with and it's actually work in progress.

So, we hope that next year again some of these issues will have been resolved," he said.

Zimbabwe is working towards the attainment of an ambitious US$12 billion mining industry target by 2030.

Source - Sunday News