Zimbabwe’s Gold Production Reaches New Record in 2022
© AFP 2023 / JEKESAI NJIKIZANAA young miner looks at an ore sample searching for gold during a mine search and rescue operation at Cricket Mine in Kadoma, Mashonaland West Province where more than 23 artisinal miners are trapped underground and feared dead on February 15, 2019.
© AFP 2023 / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA
Gold is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners. The southern African country’s production of the precious metal has been steadily growing over the past few years. In 2021, Zimbabwe also produced about 27 tons of gold, more than two tons higher than 2020.
Zimbabwe's gold output was 19.5% higher in 2022 than the year before, according to Fidelity Gold Refineries, Zimbabwe’s only authorized gold buyer.
The country’s gold sector produced a total of 35.38 tons, according to the company that is wholly owned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The state company said that the record-high output was due to new mining projects, timely payments and incentives to large-scale gold producers.
“The incentives are really paying off to such an extent that the viability of the sector hinges on sustaining the incentives to unlock more value,” said Peter Magaramombe, Fidelity Gold Refineries chief executive.
In 2022, the Zimbabwean government extended an already-existing incentive to large-scale gold miners who have exceeded their average monthly production by paying 80% in hard currency for the additional amounts, instead of 70%.
Alongside diamonds, tobacco leaf, platinum and tourism, gold is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners.
The southern African country’s precious metal production has been steadily growing over the past few years. In 2021, Zimbabwe’s national gold production was also estimated to have increased, placed at 27 tons of gold, two tons higher than in the previous year 2020.
Despite Zimbabwe’s growing gold sector, the African nation has been suffering from inflation for many years. In June 2022, inflation reached 191%.
In late July, in a bid to tackle soaring inflation in the country and to restore the value of the falling national currency, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe put one-ounce, 22-carat gold coins bearing an image of Victoria Falls in circulation.
Zimbabwe’s economic system was in particular devastated by harsh US and EU unilateral sanctions imposed against the country more than 20 years ago.
According to a 2020 report of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe “lost well over $42 billion in revenue over the past 19 years because of the sanctions” with a negative influence on most sectors of its economy and the investment climate.