The companies will acquire 60% in the refinery, which is owned by the country's central bank


Smelted and Purified gold being poured at Fidelity Printers and Refinery at Harare Zimbabwe. (Credit: Fidelity Printers and Refiners/Wikipedia)

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister announced that ten companies have agreed to buy stake in the country’s only gold refiner and exporter for $49%.

The companies will acquire 60% in the refinery, which is owned by the central bank, said Mthuli Ncube.

Ncube was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Ten shareholders have so far accepted to take shareholding in Fidelity Gold Refinery at a total consideration of US$49 million.”

In January, the central bank that it would split Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR), which commenced operations in 1988, into two separate entities.

FPR currently has an installed annual gold refining capacity of 50 tonnes. It operates a gold refinery plant located in Msasa Industrial area in Harare.

Zimbabwe’s central bank governor John Mangudya earlier said: “The unbundling of FPR is meant to partially privatise the gold refining business by allowing private players to acquire a stake therein.”

Ncube did not reveal the names of the 10 companies that have agreed to purchase the stake.

According to the central bank, the stake sale will be based on the average quantity of gold supplied to FPR over the past three years.

Kuvimba Mining House, Caledonia Mining and locally listed RioZim RTNR are among the country’s biggest gold producers.

In the January to June period, the country produced 9.95 tonnes of gold. The production is estimated to reach 32 tonnes by the end of December.

Last year, Zimbabwe’s gold production fell by almost a third.

In October 2019, the country revealed plans to increase the annual revenue of its mining industry from $4bn to more than $12bn over the next four years.