Pedzisai “Scott” Sakupwanya
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Better Brands sets new gold record . . . as it delivers US$1,2 billion haul

BETTER Brands Jewellery (BBJ) cemented its position as the country’s biggest buyer of gold after delivering 18 tonnes of the 35 tonnes delivered to the government last year — a figure which represents nearly US$1,2 billion — the largest by small-scale miners in recent years.

BBJ is the government’s biggest gold agent and has been credited with working with small-scale miners to raise deliveries to Fidelity Gold Refiners (FGR).

This comes as Mines minister Winston Chitando has said the mining industry is expected to have contributed US$ 7 billion when the finally tally for 2022 is released. BBJ proprietor Pedzisai Scott Sakupwanya said the record haul was indicative of the work that government was doing to place small scale miners at the heart of plugging gold leakages.

“A lot of work has been done to make sure that artisanal miners increase deliveries to the government. The figures of 2022 clearly show that the policies are working. “We are very grateful to the government for coming up with incentives which continue to motivate small-scale miners to produce more gold.

“I am quite hopeful that the government will continuously review the incentives so that we maintain the momentum as we seek to play a big part towards the attainment of the US$12 billion industry this year, “As the chairman of the National Gold Buyers Association, I am also pleased to note there has been increases in gold buying centres in the country. This eliminates avenues for black market trade of gold,” Sakupwanya said.

Sakupwanya also said it was crucial that authorities continued to come up with stimulus policies to maintain the current trend where each year small scale miners were setting new records in gold mining and their subsequent deliveries.

This comes as the FGR surpassed the 29 tonnes that were delivered last year, after the total haul reached 35 tonnes by the end of December. It also comes as FGR boss Peter Magaramombe told the Daily News On Sunday in September that the government was on course to surpassing last year’s deliveries which were nearly 30 tonnes.

“The projected gold delivery as at 31 December 2022 is estimated at 35 tonnes. As of 31 August 2022, a total of 22,289.5154 Kg of gold was delivered to FGR. ”As of Aug. 31, 2022, Better Brands had already surpassed its 2021 gold deliveries.

As at 31 August 2022 small-scale mines had delivered 66 percent and large scale miners delivered 34 percent,” “The current delivery trend indicates that we are likely to surpass the previous year deliveries with the expectation of exceeding 30 tonnes,” Magaramombe told the Daily News On Sunday then.

 Meanwhile, Chitando told the Daily News On Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News, that 2022 was very significant for the mining industry, which was poised to have contributed US$7 billion when the official figures for the year are released.

“We will look at the final figures as we finish December, but we are probably looking at US$7 billion plus the projects that are coming for commissioning. We will achieve our US$12 billion target. “We have projects which were commissioned during 2022. Some of them did not manage to contribute the whole year because they were commissioned late.

“There are projects that are in the construction stage and are due for commissioning in 2023, and this is where there is a significant amount of income or capacity contributing to the US$12 billion milestone,” Chitando told the Daily News on December 30.

Among the projects to be commissioned this year are the Arcadia Lithium Project, Sabi Star Mine, Bikita Minerals and the Manhize Steel project. “These four alone will contribute at least US$5,5 billion to the US$12 billion target … the focus is on us achieving the US$12 billion target and coming up with a new target for 2028,” Chitando also explained.

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