Small and medium-scale gold miners are demanding that at least 80% of their gold sales to the central bank be paid for in United States Dollars enable them to sustain their operations.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Miners (CZM) president Advance Rangani Chauke said they want to be given 80% of their gold sales in US dollars because it would improve the operations of miners since the bulk of their consumables are imported.
“We would prefer a situation whereby we are paid 80% in US dollars and 20% Zimdollar cash for our gold. Such an arrangement would help us keep afloat as we have to purchase most of our consumables from outside the country. The mining sector contributes a lot in terms of generating foreign currency and we feel government should also cushion us from the costs we incur.” He said.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe lowered the forex retention threshold for small-scale miners from 70% to 55%.The central bank stated that the move was largely informed by the fact that traditional sources of US dollar cash had shut their doors on Zimbabwe.
Gold production subsequently plummeted last year and failed to meet the projected 40 tonnes as players preferred to sell gold at attractive prices offered on the black market.
Miners, however, argue that the current retention threshold would cripple miners’ operations. Zimbabwe, which is endowed with vast natural resources seeks to create a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.