Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’s gold producers have maintained a growth trajectory in the month of October 2017 with a combined output of 2, 8 tonnes up from 2.5 tonnes in September, official data has shown.
During the period, small-scale miners increased gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners by 15.4 percent to 1 672.1 kilogrammes from 1 449 kg the previous month.
Latest gold production figures released by Fidelity Printers and Refiners show that large-scale miners increased their output marginally to 1 098.5 kg last month from 1 046 kg in September.
Since June, the small-scale miners have continued to outshine primary producers in terms of the deliveries of the yellow metal to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
In June, the small-scale miners produced 1 046 kg of gold surpassing large scale producers for the first time since the beginning of the year.
The Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) has attributed the increased gold output to improved mineral processing technology by their members.
At the end of June, the large mining houses delivered 908.1 kg to the country’s sole gold buyer.
Both small-scale miners and large mining houses in October produced 2 770.6 kg up from 2 494.9 kg the previous month. Furthermore, the data shows that October recorded the highest figure in terms of deliveries.
The latest statistics also reveal that between January and October, the yellow metal was being bought at an average price of between $1 192.65 per ounce and $1 279.51.
Between March and October, the prices have been fluctuating ranging at an average of $1 231.09 per oz and $1 279.51 per oz.
From a peak output of 27.1 tonnes in 1999, Zimbabwe’s gold deliveries progressively fell to 3.6 tonnes in 2008, and have been rising again in recent years reaching 23 tonnes in 2016.
In the first six months of the year, gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners have reached 19.9 tonnes against a target of 28 tonnes by the end of the year.