GOVERNMENT has completed investigations into gold mining which were triggered mainly by rampant cases of smuggling and suspected abuse of scarce foreign currency by big mining firms, Deputy Mines and Mining Development Minister Fred Moyo said last week.
The Government recently set up a probe team to investigate massive gold leakages prejudicing the country of millions of dollars in potential revenue.
The probe team, led by a director in the Ministry of Mines was tasked to mainly look into production and trading circles of the commodity and investigate how Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s intention to tax artisanal gold miners has contributed to an upsurge in illegal gold trading.
It was also mandated to look into whether part of the foreign currency allocated to medium and large gold miners for their operations was not finding its way on the illicit market.
“The team is winding up tomorrow (Friday) in Mashonaland East Province,” said Mr Moyo last Thursday. “We will study the details of the report and obviously work on the areas that need attention.” Gold is Zimbabwe’s second largest foreign currency earner after tobacco.
Gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries reached 10 tonnes during the first half of 2017, an increase of 3,9 percent from the previous comparable period.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe expects gold deliveries to reach a target of 25 tonnes this year. The small scale and artisanal miners account for close to 45 percent of Zimbabwe’s bullion production.
It is estimated that the country has in excess of 40 000 small scale and artisanal miners.