Zimbabwe gold production surpasses target

Zimbabwe gold production surpasses target
Published: 24 January 2016 (612 Views)
THE country's gold production leapt 33,8 percent to 18,6 tonnes in 2015 from a year earlier, helping surpass the targeted output by more than 2 tonnes, official statistics show.

The sector had set a target of 16,7 percent.

In 2014, production of the yellow metal topped 13,9 tonnes.

Last year, large-scale miners contributed 11,1 tonnes while small-scale miners weighed in with 7,5 tonnes on increased capital investments and heightened monitoring.

Production has been on an upward trajectory since 2008.

But notably, last year's production is 8,4 tonnes shy of the record 27 tonnes realised in 1999.

This year, Government has set a target of 24 tonnes.

Mining contributes more than 52 percent of the country's export receipts.

Fidelity Printers and Refiners acting chief executive officer, Mr Fradreck Kunaka told The Sunday Mail Business last week that this year's target is achievable considering the interventions that were made by Government, particularly in the 2016 National Budget.

"The target of 24 tonnes is achievable. Considering the incentives given to the gold mining sector which include reduction of royalties as well as the promised review and or rationalisation of the various statutory fees during the first quarter of 2016, the 24 tonnes are achievable," said Mr Kunaka.

In order to ensure the viability of gold producers who were increasingly bearing the brunt of falling international metal prices, Government downwardly reviewed the royalty rate on gold produced by primary producers from 7 percent to 5 percent in October 2014.

Furthermore, incentives in the 2016 National Budget include slashing the royalty rate to 3 percent on incremental output of gold "using the previous year's production as a base year" beginning this month.

Mr Kunaka noted that affordable funding and enforcement of compliance with marketing requirements is critical to the continued growth of the gold sector.

"Funding at competitive rates remain key for the continued growth of the gold mining industry. There is need for various arms of Government to collaborate in the gold mobilisation efforts.

"The compliance enforcement units need support in the form of both material and financial resources for them to ensure that almost all the gold is disposed by miners on the formal channels.

"The increase from the 18,6 tonnes to 24 tonnes will come mainly from enforcement of compliance with the gold marketing arrangements and new mine production," said Mr Kunaka.

Current production levels are expected to be augmented by production at new mines and at large-scale mines such as Freda Rebecca and Metallon Corporation's How Mine, Shamva, Mazowe, Arcturus and Redwing mines.

Increases from small-scale miners are forecast to come from improved ore processing efficiencies.

Government arms such as the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Fidelity Printers and Refiners as well as the various miners' associations are being urged to collaborate to avoid duplication of efforts, thus thinly spreading the available resources.

The Gold Mobilisation Technical Committee, established by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development at the beginning of last year, has been mandated to ensure the set target is achieved.

The RBZ believes Zimbabwe can realise about US$1,5 billion from gold exports beginning 2020.

- sundaymail

Tags: Gold,
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