MUTARE, April 28 (The Source) – Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa has ordered officials within his ministry to shut down all gold miners side-stepping the country’s sole buyer of the metal.
The central bank’s Fidelity Printers is the country’s sole mandated buyer of gold in Zimbabwe. However, artisanal miners have complained about payment problems at Fidelity, which they say is struggling with liquidity.
Artisanal miners require an average $5 million per week for gold deliveries. Central bank governor John Mangudya has said artisanal and small-scale miners produced 40 percent (2 tonnes) of the 5 tonne gold output registered by the country in the first quarter of 2016.
Chidhakwa, who recently shut down private mines operating in the Chiadzwa diamond mining companies, said rogue gold miners were depriving the country of potential revenue generated from sales of the bullion.
“If there are any people mining gold and selling it to any entity other than Fidelity (Printers), go and close them down,” charged Chidhakwa when he addressed officials within his ministry recently.
“It does not matter how powerful that person is, close them down. If you (ministry officials) fail to do it, tell me and I will close them down myself. We do not fear anybody. Nobody has the power of depriving Zimbabweans of a mineral that must benefit this country and its people, nobody has that power. It does not matter whether it’s spiritual or political power, close them down.”