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K7.3 billion spent on gold purchases

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LEADING ZIMBABWE DELEGATION—
Dube

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has spent K7.3 billion on gold buying activities, largely from artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM), officials from the central bank’s subsidiary Export Development Fund (EDF) have disclosed.

One of EDF’s directors, Ralph Tseka, disclosed this in Lilongwe on Monday, when the fund hosted two officials from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, who are in the country to offer technical support to Malawi’s gold buying team.

Tseka said 150 kilogrammes of the precious mineral have been bought, with prospects of increasing the volumes by the end of the year.

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“I cannot say there was a specific allocation for buying gold but what we all know is that this is a process and we aim at getting as much as we can, looking at economic prospects ahead. As such, the 150 kilogrammes have cost us about K7.3 billion,” he said.

EDF Board Chairperson Neil Nyirongo said at a time the tobacco industry is failing to provide Malawi with the much needed forex, EDF is committed to supporting and utilising the country’s mining sector.

“Knowing that crops have failed over time, it was thought by the authorities that we should invest in mining and we, knowing that our colleagues in Zimbabwe are somewhat the best, thought it necessary to borrow a leaf from them. After all, our socio-economic aspects are similar.

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“We did not want to reinvent the wheel but thought that we can learn a thing or two from Fidelity Printers, [which is] under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. They are way ahead in terms of gold buying and all the processes while we are still in the infant stages,” Nyirongo said.

Leader of the Zimbabwean delegation, Mehlulile Dube, said they hope to share knowledge and offer lessons that would be helpful to Malawi’s gold-buying initiative.

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