HARARE (Mining Index) – ZIMBABWE’S gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) for the month of January slumped 44.63 percent as miners grappled with seasonal challenges associated with rainfall.
January gold deliveries to FRP totalled 1.77 tonnes, a decline relative to same period last year which recorded 2.56 tonnes.
Deliveries further plummeted from the anticipated monthly average output of 3.33 tonnes, creating a deficit 1.56 tonnes.
Government set a 40 tonne target of gold deliveries to FPR this year up from the 33.2 tonnes delivered in 2018, the highest figure achieved since 1980.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) earlier this year revealed small scale miners were expecting to surpass government’s target for 2019, with an additional 10 tonnes, bringing the total gold production for 2019 to 50 tonnes.
With the new production figure from ZMF of 50 tonnes of gold for 2019, 4.2 tonnes is expected on average every month. Gold production for January fell short of 2.43 tonnes.
Small-scale miners who have become central in Zimbabwe’s gold mining produced 1.03 tonnes in January 2019 compared to 0.74 tonnes from primary producers.
In 2018, small scale miners accounted for 21.7 tonnes of the annual total gold output compared to 11.5 tonnes from primary producers.
FPR General Manager Fradreck Kunaka noted the decline in gold deliveries as a perennial seasonal challenge mostly experienced during the rainy season.
“The deliveries for the month of January this year were lower than what was recorded during the same period last year because of the rainy season which has had a negative bearing on small scale miners.”
Last year, gold deliveries were affected by rains, with a decline recorded in February to 2.01 tonnes from 2.56 tonnes delivered in January.