ZIMBABWE'S total gold deliveries for April declined by 2,9 percent to 1 112,4kg. The decline was largely caused by a dip in the fortunes of the primary producers. But the African Development Bank, in its monthly economic review, reported an increase in gold production by small-scale miners.
"Small-scale miners' deliveries increased by 16 percent while deliveries by primary producers declined by 7,3 percent," said the AfDB.
Last month's gold deliveries were higher when compared with figures of the comparable period last year.
On a year-to-year basis, total gold deliveries grew by 24,4 percent, while deliveries from small-scale miners and primary producers grew by 66,9 percent and 15,7 percent, respectively.
A positive gold output in the interim will ensure that producers benefit from the prevailing high gold prices.
The international prices of precious metals appear to be largely benefiting from a constantly weak United States dollar and the eurozone financial crisis, as investors now favour investing in commodities.
This should largely benefit the local gold sector, which this year expected to grow by 12 percent.
According to the AfDB, gold prices during April were significantly higher, ranging between US$1 630 and US$1 677 during the period.
Spot gold was yesterday trading at US$1 580,42 per ounce, up 0,4 percent.
Analysts estimate that the price of gold will next month range between US$1 530 and US$1 600 per ounce, depending on developments in the eurozone, with its seemingly unending crisis.
But despite the decline in gold deliveries in April, the average growth rate for the first four months of this year remained fairly positive at 2,89 percent, with a cumulative total of 4 238,95kg.
But this was lower than the average growth rate of 5,77 percent, recorded during the first three months of the year, in which the country registered a cumulative total of 3 126,6kg.
The AfDB projects that deliveries of the precious metal will maintain the upward momentum to reach the annual target of 13 000kg by the end of the year.