Zimbabwe’s gold export earnings in the first six months of 2020 totaled US$476.20 million, representing a three percent rise from US$464.06 million in the same period last year, statistics from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) show.
Gold is Zimbabwe’s single largest foreign currency earner. In June, gold export earnings stood at US$66.45 million, a marginal increase from US$65.40 million in the same month last year. The month of May was the highest in terms of the yellow metal export earnings at US$120.16 million, a 40 percent increase from the same month in 2019 and 81 percent up from the month of June. The surge in gold export earnings is expected to ease the foreign currency shortages in the country.
The year started on a positive note, with January raking in US$98.12 million, representing a 39 percent increase from US$70.43 million in the prior period last year. However, the country’s export earnings started to fall in February at US$56.12 million compared to US$77.86 million in the same month in 2019.
In March it was at US$71.90 million from US$88.05 million while in April it was at US$63.42 million from US$76.40 million. Currently, the mining sector contributes about 8 percent of total GDP and has set an ambitious target of generating US$12 billion revenues by 2023 from as little as US$2.7 billion in 2017.
According to Treasury, the mining sector is poised to contract 4.1 percent this year, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 and other challenges evolving around foreign currency retentions. The mining sector, being the largest foreign currency earner (60 percent of total foreign currency) is expected to surpass agriculture which currently contributes between 9-10 percent to GDP.
Recently, the southern African nation said it will expend more resources on capacitating security institutions engaged in monitoring and curbing mineral leakage which continue to deprive the country of substantial foreign currency inflows.