Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has secured a gold-buying licence and will now buy the yellow metal as an agent of state owned Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
ZMF is the mother body of artisanal and small-scale miners dotted across the country.
The organisation’s chief executive officer, Mr Wellington Takavarasha, told our Bulawayo Bureau at the weekend that they would be buying gold as an agent of FPR in all the country’s gold-mining regions namely: Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.
“ZMF has embarked on a gold buying exercise in a bid to mop up gold from the artisanal and small scale miners countrywide on behalf of FPR.
“We are now an accredited agent of FPR and we will try to reach out even the most remote areas,” said Mr Takavarasha.
It is hoped that this would ensure more gold is brought to the formal market.
The Government has declared mining and agriculture as key sectors to anchor economic recovery.
Of late, the Government has expressed concern that the country wad losing significant revenues as the yellow metal was being smuggled out of the country to countries such as United Arab Emirates and the neighbouring South Africa.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube is on record saying the Government was putting in place measures to curb the smuggling of Zimbabwe’s gold in order to ensure increased formal deliveries of the precious metal.
Gold is one of the country’s major foreign currency earners accounting for over US$1 billion annually.
The artisanal and small-scale mining sector is the major contributor of gold produced in Zimbabwe accounting for more than 60 percent.
Of late, the Government has been implementing interventions to boost output by players in the gold mining sector and such initiatives include reviewing the pricing system and the gold retention threshold to improve miners’ ability and access of selling the mineral to FPR.
In October last year, President Mnangagwa launched a US$12 billion mining industry economy by 2023 with the gold sector expected to contribute a minimum of US$4 billion.
This year Zimbabwe targets to achieve 40 tonnes of gold having missed the projection in 2019 owing to a number of challenges, among them power and fuel constraints.
Total gold output for last year stood at close to 29 tonnes down from 33.2 tonnes achieved in the previous year.