Zimbabwe is still struggling to be readmitted to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), more than 13 years since it was booted out of the world’s largest gold and silver wholesale market.
The Southern African nation was kicked out of LBMA in 2008 when its gold output slumped to 3 072kg tonnes, far below the 10 tonnes per annum required to guarantee membership.
However, the requirement was fulfilled in 2015 when production hit 21 tonnes.
Since then, the country’s gold output has been on an upward trajectory, with production hitting 19.05 tonnes in 2020 before increasing to 29.6 tonnes last year.
Nobuhle T Chikuni of the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association in her report titled: The need for responsible mining practices in Zimbabwe said joining the LBMA is an advantage to Zimbabwe as the prices are better.
Following the improvement in gold production, Zimbabwe has been trying to be readmitted to the LBMA with no success.
Chikuni said gross human rights violations, land degradation and poor law enforcement in the mining sector, could be some of the reasons Zimbabwe’s admission has been delayed. She said:
Until Zimbabwean authorities remedy this, then it is unlikely that they will meet the criteria set by the LBMA for readmission according to the Bullion post. In addressing this, Zimbabwe should adopt the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines on responsible sourcing among other global transparency initiatives in the extractives sector.
Chikuni said the LBMA had adopted responsible sourcing.
LBMA established the responsible gold guidance refiners to combat systematic or widespread abuses of human rights, to avoid contributing to conflict, comply with high standards of anti-money-laundering and combating terrorist financing.
Chikuni added that the time to start dealing with corruption and lack of accountability in the mining sector was now considering that Zimbabwe aims to achieve a US$12 billion mining sector industry by 2030.