Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu said Zimbabwe has produced 12 tonnes of gold since January, surpassing the 10 tonnes required for membership to the LBMA which regulates gold trade internationally.
“The country achieved two tonnes of gold last year but since January, the figure has shot up to 12 tonnes to surpass the LBMA market requirements.
“As things stand, we are on the verge of re-admission as gold production keeps going up and as the government, we will continue assisting with mining equipment and resources where possible to miners so that the sector continues to grow,” Mpofu said in an interview.
The LBMA is a wholesale market for the trading of gold and silver. Trading is conducted among members of the LBMA, loosely overseen by the Bank of England.
Most of the members are major international banks or bullion dealers and refiners. Five members of the LBMA meet twice daily to “fix” the gold price in a process known as the London Gold Fixing.
Zimbabwe was disqualified from the prestigious market in 2008, after it produced only three tonnes of the precious metal that year, a figure far below the mandatory annual production of 10 tonnes required by the London Bullion Market.
The ouster followed numerous production problems, financial constraints, a worsening power crisis and the nonpayment of a huge debt owed to producers by Fidelity Printers & Refineries, a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe subsidiary, which, at the time, was the sole buyer and exporter of gold in the country.
Gold is traditionally one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners but the mining sector has been hamstrung by foreign exchange shortages to renew equipment and replenish supplies.