Concern over $5m paid to artisanal miners

HARARE - Government is worried that artisanal gold miners who are paid $5 million weekly in US dollars and bond notes for their export incentive could be abusing the cash they are being paid by Fidelity Printers and Refiners and by banks.

Fidelity Printers and Refinery is a unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) which is mandated to buy gold.

ZB Bank is an agent for Fidelity Printers and Refiners and it receives delivery of gold at most of its branches and pays artisanal miners in cash.

“I am pleased to advise honourable members that small-scale gold producers delivered 1,5 tonnes to Fidelity Printers and Refiners in August 2017, which is the highest monthly delivery by this sector since independence,” Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said in his ministerial statement on Thursday.

He said government has introduced measures through the Exchange Control (Amendment) Regulations, banning trading in currency without a licence by artisanal gold miners and dealing in currency at a premium or at a discount.

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