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BizDay Zimbabwe

Zim gold output depressed

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HARARE – Zimbabwe’s gold production slumped 8,64 percent in June 2013 as the sector remains under pressure from falling price of the yellow metal.

Gold prices plummeted to $1, 198 per ounce as at June 7, the lowest since April 2013.

Figures released by  the African Development Bank (AfDB) show that the country’s month-on-month total gold deliveries for June 2013 slumped from 1 131 27 kgs in May 2013 to 1 033 49 kg in June 2013.

On a year-on-year basis, total gold deliveries declined by 9,89 percent from 1 146 94 kg in June 2012 to 1 033 49 kg in June 2013.

Deliveries by primary producers declined by 11,51 percent from 931,15 kg in June 2012 to 823,98 kg in June 2013 while deliveries by small-scale producers also declined by 2,91 percent from 215,79 kg to 209,51 kg during the same period.

Small-scale miners have said the exorbitant mining levies and punitive policies are responsible for the declining production saying government policies were not promoting small-scale mining.

Zimbabwe 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.

Despite the decline in gold deliveries this year, mining has continued to dominate the economy with mineral exports rising by 230 percent between 2009 and 2011, making mining the leading export sector.

The average share of mining to the gross domestic product also grew to an average of 16,9 percent during the same period, eclipsing agriculture.

Mineral exports accounted for 64,5 percent of Zimbabwe’s total exports.

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