To curb smuggling, Zimbabwe plans mine-to-market gold tracking system

Zimbabwe gold
(pic: Reuters)

Zimbabwe’s sole authorised buyer of gold will introduce a system that traces supply of the metal from mines to the market in a bid to stop smuggling.

Fidelity Gold Refinery’s initiative will start on September 30, General Manager Peter Magaramombe told miners Monday in the capital, Harare.

“The system allows for real-time monitoring from bullion weighing by the producer and its subsequent delivery to FGR, which can also be traced to the market,” Magaramombe said.

Zimbabwe targets 40 tons of gold production this year, according to Mines Minister Winston Chitando. In 2023, the country produced 30.1 tons, down from a record 35.3 tons in the prior year.

“Mineral leakages deprive the government of much-needed revenue from taxes and royalties. By working together, we can ensure that every ounce of gold extracted within our borders contributes to the national good,” Chitando told a meeting with miners on Monday.

In the first four months of 2024, gold deliveries reached 8.4 tonnes, running lower than the 8.57 tonnes over the same period in 2023. Large-scale miners delivered 4.3 tonnes, up 26% from 3.4 tonnes from same period last year. However, small-scale miners, who deliver the bulk of gold, fell 23% in the first quarter.

Said Chitando: “For the year 2024, the contribution by small-scale miners is ranging between 42% and 53% which calls for investigations into the decline in gold deliveries.”