By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has so far bought 282.79 kilogrammes of gold since December, 2020, at a cost of K345.6 million.
Gold weighing 195.95 kilogrammes was bought from Kansanshi Copper Mines at a cost of K241.8 million, while 86.84 kilogrammes was purchased from Zambia Gold Company, a subsidiary of ZCCM-IH, at a cost of K103.8 million.
This is according to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in its response to online questions on gold purchasing released recently.
According to the Ministry, the BoZ planned to buy approximately 25, 200 ounces of London Good Delivery Gold from Kansanshi Copper Mining Plc and 21, 000 ounces of dore gold with a minimum of 88 percent purity, from Zambia Gold Company, per year.
“These estimates are based on the gold purchase agreements signed with Kansanshi Copper Mining Plc and Zambia Gold Company in December, 2020.
“The objective of this initiative is to shore up and diversify international reserves. The viability and attractiveness of this venture is that the gold is being purchased in local currency,” the ministry stated.
It also stated that Government would continue working with gold mining companies to support the further development of a safe, transparent, and domestic revenue enhancing industry.
On debt vulnerability, the ministry said it would grow the economy by significantly expanding the industrial productive capacity and other sectors of the economy.
Initially, the focus would be to increase output in agriculture, tourism, mining, manufacturing, energy and transport sectors to grow the economy and create employment opportunities, especially for the youth.
It indicated that the government’s reform agenda would not only grow a more inclusive and sustainable economy, but also safeguard livelihoods, protect vulnerable groups, and provide better opportunities for the people of Zambia.
“To fund social protection Programmes and at the same time reduce the fiscal deficit, the Government will deploy measures targeted at expenditure rationalization, dismantling arrears, external debt restructuring, and a combination of revenue mobilisation and administration reforms.
“One example of administrative reforms is the significant increase in the Constituency Development Fund allocation, decentralisation, and supplying resources closer to the people,” the ministry stated.