The parliament of Zimbabwe on Thursday urged the government to strictly monitor the gold industry, which is a pillar of the country’s economy.
The parliamentary portfolio committee on defense, home affairs and security services released a report on the security of the country’s gold production and sales, after the parliament carried out a comprehensive enquiry into the industry last year.
The committee urged the country’s sole gold buyer, Fidelity Gold Refiners (FGR), to increase its visibility and presence at gold mining sites to enhance production transparency and accountability.
The committee also observed that the absence of state security or government officials at some big gold mines to verify authenticity of production statistics was a major cause for concern.
“It was observed that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development receives and accepts production statistics sent by gold mining companies in good faith,” it said
“There is suspicion of massive under declaration of gold produce at elution plants while the absence of FGR and state security agencies such as the Flora and Fauna Unit of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, compromises the security of minerals at processing or cyanidation points,” the committee said in its report.
The committee recommended a review and amendment of legislation on mining and trading of gold in order to integrate artisanal gold miners in the mainstream mining industry to curb leakages.
Gold is Zimbabwe’s top mineral export, earning 2.04 billion U.S. dollars from a record output of 35.38 tonnes in 2022, up from 1.8 billion dollars in 2021, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The entire mining sector accounts for 60 percent of the country’s export revenues. Review & Mail / Xinhua