Harare – The mining industry has reacted negatively to the monetary policy that was presented by the Reserve Bank Governor Jonh Mangudya as gold deliveries have drastically declined, an official has said.
In his monetary policy, Mangudya announced that government through its sole buyer, Fidelity Printers will be buying gold at 45 % RTGS and 55% foreign currency.
Since the monetary policy government received 20 kilograms in of gold in February as compared to January’s 1.77 tones.
Miners are opting to sell their gold to either the black market or to South Africa.
Addressing miners at the RBZ monetary review breakfast meeting Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura said the decline in gold deliveries meant that something was wrong.
“Over the years we received a turbulence of gold production. Last year we had 11.61 tones from primary producers but unfortunately from November last year our production targets began to go down.
“In November we had a total of 1. 4 tones delivered to fidelity printers, in December we had 1.14 tones delivered to Fidelity Printers and In January we had 1.77 tones delivered to Fidelity Printers.
“Our average monthly production is 2.5 tones so you can see that from November last year, we were below target, we were operating at maybe 47% of capacity and the bad news is for February we are much below that especially after government announced this monetary policy.
“I am told since that day, we have only received about 20kg of gold delivered to Fidelity Printers which means there is something wrong,” he said.
Miners however complained that government was coming up with policies that impacted on them negatively without consulting resulting in them looking for other alternatives.
A miner, Gift Kudakwashe said Mangudya did not consult small scale miners.
“How did you come up with 55, 45 % policy. I am sure the governor did not see us, we are the people who are producing more gold in this sector, he did not talk with ZMF do discuss these issues,” Kudakwashe said.
Another miner, Tobias Kadenhe said government did not calculate the costs of producing the gold.
“You created a law and told us without consulting us when we are the producers of the gold, have you ever calculated the costs of a gram of gold when you came up with 55 and 45 %,” he said.
One of the top gold buyers in the country ,Shasha Gomez government should raise their prices.
“We are selling out gold for foreign currency but we are getting RTGS, we have got a problem here with the black market so our problem is not with what RBZ and Fidelity Printers say, our problem is with South Africa and what they offer us.
“If we do not fix this problem, then all the gold which comes out of the mines, all we have to declare is “10 grams and sell the other kg to the other side.
“If Fidelity, RBZ and the ministry do not fix this problem, we can meet here discussing these things and nothing will be attended to.
“Raise your prices, take your deductions, not 45% but 5 to 10 % and we will give you everything,” he said.