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RBZ exports 2,5 tonnes of bullion

Leakages still there ... RBZ chief Charity Dhliwayo addressing legislators on Monday

10/03/2014 00:00:00
by The Source
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THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has exported over 2.5 tonnes of gold since December last year as it pushes for re-admission into the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the acting governor told Parliament on Monday.

Charity Dhliwayo told the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy that its subsidiary, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, would expand operations across the country after it was restored as the sole buyer of the yellow metal and government decriminalised artisanal mining.

“We are currently purchasing 1.100 kilograms of gold per month. We have mobilised sufficient financial resources to cater for both volumes and price increase. To date, Fidelity has refined and exported 2,500 kg,” Dhliwayo said.

Fidelity resumed operations in December last year after years of redundancy resulting from undercapitalisation and the liberalisation of gold exports in 2009. Its refinery, which opened in 1987, has capacity to process 50 tonnes of gold per annum.

She said Zimbabwe will seek accreditation to the LBMA to sell the bullion directly to the international markets. It is currently selling via South Africa’s Rand Refinery after Fidelity was ejected from the association in 2008 when output plunged to three tonnes against the LMBA’s mandatory 15 tonnes.

Dhliwayo said gold output is being affected due to erratic power supplies and leakages to neighbouring countries.

“We know that not everyone is not selling their gold through Fidelity, leakages are still there,” she said.

Zimbabwe produced an estimated 14 tonnes of gold in 2013 and is projected to reach 15 tonnes this year, but is still below the 1999 peak production of nearly 27 tonnes.

On the $50 million debt to gold miners accrued during the Zimbabwe dollar era, Dhliwayo said government would soon pay the funds after Treasury assumed the central bank’s debt.


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