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Major Zimbabwe goldmine firm suspends operations

Zimbabwe’s second biggest gold-mining firm, RioZim, says it has suspended production for the second time in four months because the central bank has failed to pay it in Dollars for part of its gold deliveries.

The acute shortage of US Dollars, the currency Zimbabwe adopted ten years ago to combat hyperinflation, has driven up the price of basic goods and contributed to the protests that rocked the country three weeks ago.

RioZim has said it will suspend production indefinitely if there is no progress in negotiations with the authorities.

Gold is Zimbabwe’s second largest export by value.

Gold-mining firms are required to sell their output to a subsidiary of the central bank, for which they are paid just over half in Dollars and the remainder in bond notes, the widely mistrusted currency printed by the bank.

The Zimbabwean government said on Monday that the central bank governor would soon introduce a monetary policy tool to alleviate the foreign currency shortages.

Source: Voice of Nigeria