Zimbabwe will upturn the proportion of dollars that gold miners can retain from their sales, the central bank’s bullion-buying arm announced on Wednesday, in respond to pressure from producers who were eager to keep more.
Gold is the largest foreign currency earner, and Fidelity Printers and Refiners, an arm of the central bank, has a monopoly on buying and refining all the country’s gold production. General manager Fradreck Kunaka told in a statement that small-scale miners would keep all their payment in dollars, while bigger companies would retain 70% of their income in the U.S. currency.
Previously gold miners received only 55% of their sales in dollars and the rest in local currency at a fixed exchange rate.
Smaller producers and artisanal miners, would be paid in cash at $45 per gramme of gold,
said Kunaka. Payments to other producers are pegged to the London benchmark.
Mining sector has been lobbying to keep all their foreign currency, explaining that the Zimbabwe dollar proportion was hurting production output, which saw a decrease to 27.6 tonnes last year from 33.2 tonnes a year before.