HARARE November 14 (The Source) – Zimbabwe is set to be readmitted to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) next year after gold output reached the 10-tonne requirement, mines minister Walter Chidhakwa said on Friday.
Zimbabwe was rejected from the LBMA in 2008 after gold output plunged to three tonnes and since then, has been exporting its gold through South Africa’s Rand Refinery.
Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was re-opened last December following years of redundancy resulting from undercapitalisation and the liberalisation of gold exports in 2009.
Chidhakwa told a press conference that close to 10 tonnes of gold had already been delivered to Fidelity, now restored as the country’s sole buyer, refiner and exporter.
“Deliveries from small scale producers to Fidelity have over the past three months significantly improved to levels of about 400kg per month from an average of 200kg,” he said.
Chidhakwa said the country was on target to meet its revised target of 13 tonnes by year end.
At peak, Zimbabwe’s gold out topped 27 tonnes.
“Our accreditation is currently being finalized by the officials now that we can meet the minimum requirements,” Chidhakwa said.
In September, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa revised gold royalties for small scale producers from seven to five percent to ease up against falling commodity prices.