Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu exchange MoU documents with Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce Mr Li Jinzao, while Vice President Joice Mujuru looks on in Harare on May 22, 2013., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Zim to resume gold refining
October 28, 2013
Zimbabwe is set to resume gold refinery next month in preparation for re-admission to the London Bullion Marketing Association, sources have said.Fidelity Printers and Refinery, a State-owned firm, ceased operations in 2007 after gold output hit a record low of three tonnes in eight years. Since then, Zimbabwe has been sending its bullion for refinery and marketing to Rand Refinery of South Africa.
“If everything goes according to plan, Fidelity will resume operations next month, but even after refining it locally, we still have to market it through Rand Refinery until we are re-admitted to the LBMA,” said one source. We need to do that (refining) for three years before we can make an application for our re- admission to the LBMA.”
For a country to be re-admitted to the LBMA, it has to produce a minimum 10 tonnes per year. The LBMA cancelled Zimbabwe’s membership in 2008 after it produced only three tonnes of gold.
In the nine months to September this year, gold output rose 29 percent to 10,4 tonnes from the previous comparable period, earning the country US$483 million, the Chamber of Mines said.
Last year, gold production was 14 743kg, earning the country US$1,9 billion. Zimbabwe is targeting 17 tonnes of the yellow metal this year, but may fall of the target due to the fall in international prices. At its peak, Zimbabwe produced 27 tonnes in 1999.
Gold prices have fallen more than 20 percent this year to about US$1 350 per ounce.