ZIMBABWE’S gold deliveries for the month of May increased marginally by 4,6 percent from 1 081,93kg in April 2013 to 1 131,27 kilogrammes in May as output by small-scale miners registered a significant growth. According to figures released by the African Development Bank, deliveries by small-scale producers went up 28,6 percent to 211,66kg in May from 164,55kg in April.
Production by small-scale miners has been declining in the past few months.
In April last year, production plummeted to two tonnes from 17 tonnes recorded nine years ago.
Small-scale miners have attributed the decreased output to the exorbitant mining levies and punitive policies set by Government.
Government last year raised the pre-exploration fees for most minerals by as much as 8 000 percent to discourage speculative holding of mineral claims which had become prevalent.
However, the fees and levies were reviewed in March as Government tried to accommodate the small-scale miners. According to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, the small-scale miners contributed 30 percent of the total 13 tonnes of gold produced in 2012.
In 2005, Zimbabwe produced about 14 023kg of the yellow metal with small-scale miners contributing more than 50 percent, making them an integral player in the country’s mining sector.
Gold deliveries by primary producers grew by 0,24 percent to 919,61 kilogrammes from 917,38 kilogrammes in April. On a year-on-year basis, total gold deliveries grew by 5,18 percent from 1075,53 kilogrammes in May 2012 to 1131,27 kilogrammes in May 2013.
Primary producers’ deliveries also grew 4,04 percent from 883,85kg last year to 919,61 kilogrammes in May this year, while small-scale producers’ deliveries grew by 10,42 percent from 191,68 kilogrammes in May 2012 to 211,66 kilogrammes in May 2013.
According to the AfDB, there was less volatility in gold and platinum prices during the month of May.
The metal prices declined for the greater part of May before firming towards month end. The gold price softened from US$1 473 per ounce as at May 3 to US$1 373 before increasing to close the month at US$1 438 per ounce. The Herald