Pedzisayi “Scott” Sakupwanya

Gold buyer says winning war against smuggling

GOLD buyer, Better  Brands Jewellery (BBJ) , says it is winning the “war against smuggling” as its deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) are at the cusp of reaching a new milestone this year.

BBJ proprietor, Pedzisayi “Scott” Sakupwanya told the Daily News on Sunday last week that his company was on course to meet its target of delivering a record six tonnes of gold to the government by  the end of year.

Sakupwanya said this was achievable as BBJ had so far delivered 4,4 tonnes to FPR since the beginning of the year, notwithstanding the disruptions brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In August we delivered a record one tonne to the FPR. We strongly believe that we will be able to deliver more than six tonnes by the time we end the year, as we are just short of 1,6 tonnes to reach our envisaged tally.

“The increase in deliveries is a result of recent incentives to the small-scale miners by the government. We applaud President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration for incentivising small- scale miners. The results are beginning to show,” Sakupwanya told the Daily News on Sunday.

“On our part as BBJ, we are empowering some of these miners by buying them equipment which would in turn, help them  increase their output. 

“As a company, we remain honoured and challenged by President Mnangagwa’s empowerment programmes, and mining sector targets, hence our singular efforts to contribute towards that 2023 vision.

“The president has shown trust in youth and we hope to create further opportunities for youth from our activities and empower them.

“We have also been boosted by the setting up of the gold buying centres in all the provinces as these developments have seen us going toe-to-toe with the black market.

“These gold buying centres are part of the solid and recognisable structures that will further help us deliver more gold to the government. They enhance monitoring and coordination of licensed players’ activities,” Sakupwanya further told the Daily News on Sunday.

This year the government is expecting the small-scale miners to deliver 37 tonnes to the FPR.

This comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)  has reported an increase in gold deliveries to the FPR especially in the months of June and July this year.

The governor of the RBZ, John Mangudya, said the government was expecting an increase in gold exports this year, amid surging gold deliveries to the FPR.

“There was a remarkable surge in gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) in the months of June and July 2021.

“June 2021 gold deliveries to FPR were 2 924.3 kg compared to 1 409.6 kg delivered in June 2020. Similarly, gold deliveries for July 2021 stood at 2 824.6 kg compared to July 2020 deliveries of 1 406.4kg,” Mangudya said in his mid term Monetary Policy Statement.

Mangudya said that small-scale gold producers contributed 52.8 percent of the total gold deliveries to FPR during the first seven months of 2021 — saying this compared favourably with the 55.8 percent delivered for the same period in 2020.

Currently, gold remains the country’s largest foreign currency earner — at nearly US$1,3 billion —and while accounting for 65 percent-plus of the entire mining sector’s annual earnings.

This comes as the government says this year’s  performance of the mining sector continues to encourage  as the industry was expected to grow by 11 percent, buoyed by favourable international prices and expansion programmes aimed at increasing production.

It also comes as Zimbabwe aims to have a US$12 billion mining sector by 2023.

On its own, the gold sector contributes 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s hard currency receipts.

Under the US$12 billion initiative, gold is expected to rake in US$4 billion annually and in as much as it remains an anchor for the country’s medium-term economic growth.