Is it true that Zimbabwe is losing 34 tonnes of gold through smuggling?


Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was recently quoted as saying Zimbabwe is losing 30 to 34 tonnes of gold through smuggling to South Africa.

Could this be true?

“When we spoke to our colleagues in South Africa at the Rand Refinery in Cape Town, we saw a jewellery shop, they said that’s all your gold from Zimbabwe. A total of between 30 and 34 tonnes are smuggled into South Africa,” he was quoted as saying.

“We will have a discussion with the Governor [John Mangudya] in terms of output and retention percentages to enable gold miners to sell their gold through proper channels. In terms of the gold output, we have seen some leakages but we are seeing production is actually going up.

“But the deliveries have been going down at Fidelity Printers because of leakages in the sector, which we are finding a way to plug so that output is accounted for in the formal sector.”

If this is true, this means that at US$41 000 a kg, Zimbabwe is losing US$1.4 billion and more gold is being smuggled out of the country than is sold to the Reserve Bank.

But more importantly, who is smuggling the gold? Surely it cannot be the small individual.

Does it also mean then that Zimbabwe produces more than 60 tonnes of gold a year?

Last year Zimbabwe produced 33.2 tonnes of gold and was aiming for 40 tonnes this year.

Gold production in Zimbabwe from 1990- 2017


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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