Fidelity seeks miners’ input

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SOLE state gold buying entity, Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR) will this month set up a gold production taskforce in conjunction with producers of the yellow metal as it seeks producer input that will inform payment modalities to curb rampant leakages.

Zimbabwe last year produced a record 33,2 tonnes of the yellow metal and Government has set this year’s target at 40 tonnes .
The target is to produce 100 tonnes per year from 2023 onwards.

Gold production and mining in general is one of the key pillars on which Government hopes to anchor Vision 2030 by which Zimbabwe should be an upper middle income earning economy.

However, the sector is being pegged backwards by gold leakages as some unscrupulous producers opt to smuggle their product out of the country where they are paid 100 percent in hard currency as opposed to the 55 percent in hard currency and 45 percent in RTGS$ on the local market.

Addressing the media after meeting the national leadership of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) in Harare yesterday, FPR general manager Fradreck Kunaka said the yellow metal buyer will engage with producers to get an appreciation of their costs before making scientific evidence based representations to Government in search of a leakages curbing payment regime.

“We all know that at the end of the day all producers are rationale persons, they look at the value proposition and this is what has brought us together to make sure that at the end of the day the miner realises the true value of the commodity,” said Mr Kunaka.

“It’s not about going to South Africa or not but what is important is the miner feels the value of the commodity that they would have delivered to Fidelity is the true value that they are paid.

“Today we have agreed to come up with a committee that will then look at the operational costs of the small scale miners so that at the end of the day when a presentation is being made to the relevant authorities of what we feel is the value proposition which miners should get is based on facts as opposed to where people just come and say we want a retention of this magnitude.

“We want to do it more scientifically by setting up that committee which will then advise the relevant authorities to set the right price, which gives the value proposition to the miner,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, ZMF president Henrietta Rushwaya said the miners are committed to playing a part in stopping the leakages at a time the economy is dogged by foreign currency shortages. She implored the authorities to play their part.

“As ZMF we are committing to ensuring that we minimise gold leakages,” said Ms Rushwaya. The issue to do with gold leakages has become cancerous in this country and as such we felt it was high time that we join forces with gold partners who happen to be Fidelity in ensuring that all the people that are responsible for the illicit gold leakages are brought to book.

“To our sector we are going around the country with Fidelity and ensure that people will start to gain the much needed confidence that is supposed be there. We will, however, continue engaging Government on the 45–55 percent retention threshold, which we know if we come up with sound requests, Government will reconsider,” she said.–

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