Zimbabwe will soon require all artisanal miners to be formally registered as part of efforts to curb gold smuggling and protect the environment, state-run Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya made the remarks while addressing the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism on Monday.
It is estimated that there are between 500,000 and 1.5 million artisanal and small-scale miners in Zimbabwe, and only 16 percent of them are formally registered.
Under the new registration system, the miners’ biometric details would be captured and the miner would be issued with a registration number.
In 2020 gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a gold buying subsidiary of the RBZ, declined by 31 percent to 19.052 tonnes due to many reasons including smuggling and less production by miners.
In 2019 Fidelity took delivery of 27.66 tonnes, and that was a fall from the 33.2 tonnes delivered in 2018.
Mining is a major mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy, with gold being one of the major contributors. However, the smuggling of gold remains a major challenge, and authorities estimate that between 30 and 35 tonnes of gold are being smuggled each year. Enditem