Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is stepping up efforts to boost gold deliveries to the state buying entity, Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR), in a bid to shore up deliveries and beat this year’s target.
Government this year set a 40-tonne gold delivery target on the back of record breaking deliveries in 2018 that topped 33,2 tonnes.
However, the target has set off on a wrong footing after first quarter deliveries fell by 10 percent compared to the same period last year.
The ministry is, however, still confident the 2019 target is attainable and is stepping up efforts to make sure all locally produced gold is directed to the formal market.
In a statement to The Herald Business, Mines Ministry director Value Addition and Beneficiation Dr Mercy Manyuchi said the ministry will run first quarter gold mobilisation workshops across the country’s eight mining provinces, through the Gold Mobilisation National Task-Force from April 28 to May 11 as part of efforts to curb gold leakages.
Dr Manyuchi, who is also the ministry’s, representative on Gold Mobilisation National Task-Force said the workshops will also culminate visits to gold producing mines to ascertain mine output in comparison with FPR deliveries.
The visits could probably provide insight into primary gold producers’ delivery decline compared to small-scale miners.
Statistics for 2019 first quarter show that primary producers delivered just 35,5 percent of FPR’s retains for the period under review.
“The Ministry of Mines has set aside dates for the gold mobilisation exercises for 2019 in its bid to increase gold output deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners so as to meet its targeted output for 2019,” said Dr Manyuchi in a statement.
“The dates planned for the exercises are as follows: First Quarter: April 28 – May 11, 2019; Second Quarter: May 12 – May 25, 2019; Third Quarter: August 11 – August 24 2019; and Fourth Quarter: November 10 – November 23.
“During the first quarter of the gold mobilisation exercise, the ministry intends to conduct one-day gold mobilisation workshops in each province. Key stakeholders expected to attend the workshops include all the miners and their representative bodies.
“The objectives of the provincial workshops include reviewing the strategies being undertaken by the ministry to increase gold output for the year 2019, discussing areas that may affect miners in producing gold, highlight the direction which (FPR) is taking with regards to payment of miners. . .
“The ministry is also coming up with scheduled visits to gold producing mines. The visits are for monitoring gold production outputs in comparison with FPR gold deliveries from the same mines so as to curb gold leakages and increase accountability,” she said.
Dr Manyuchi said the workshops will also discuss strategies aimed at reducing gold leakages as well as assess progress on the previous gold mobilisation exercises recommendation.
Curbing gold leakages is one of the key strategies with which Government hopes to achieve the 100 tonnes per year delivery target in the next five years.