The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through its gold buying subsidiary, Fidelity Printers and Refiners has introduced a gold support price aimed at solving production challenges affecting miners and increasing deliveries of the yellow metal.

The first quarter of this year has been characterised by a challenging operating climate for gold producers leading to limited output and deliveries of the commodity to the sole buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

In order to restore business confidence and profitability, the sole buyer has introduced a gold support price of US$44 000 per kg and US$1 368,55 an ounce.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Winston Chitando said the gold support price is a reflection of the government’s commitment to providing incentives to productive sectors that have a potential of facilitating economic growth.

“We are confident of the current measures and their effects on viability, so the support price is a reflection of that commitment,” he said.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation CEO, Mr Wellington Takavarasha said while the artisanal (small scale) miners dominate production and deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners, there is need to continuously review the gold support price subject to economic conditions is also important.

“We welcome such efforts but it is through a review of the pricing mechanism that can guarantee us future business as we seek to unlock value in the entire sector,” he said.

The government has set a target of 40 tonnes of gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners this year from the 33,2 tonnes delivered last year.

During the period under review, small scale miners accounted for 21,7 tonnes of the total output, compared to 11,5 tonnes by the primary producing gold mining firms.