Exporters and miners can now retain 70% of all their foreign currency proceeds in foreign currency accounts under the recently introduced foreign currency retention policy.
The mining industry has welcomed the move, but Chamber of Mines president Jack Murehwa, says the moves can only revive the country’s mining sector if its a long-term policy.
Murehwa said if this was a long term policy, gold miners could seriously look into recapitalising their plants and reviving development plans that were not viable under the previous monetary arrangements.
"Our request to the authorities is that these positive moves stay in place for the long term as we continue to drive towards a market economy," said Murehwa.
Players in the mining sector had lost confidence in the economy due to poor policies, particularly reluctance to improve the exchange rate, and the situation was further worsened by the governments intention to compulsorily takeover 51 percent empowerment stakes in foreign owned mining concerns.
Murehwa said although other issues relating to loss of confidence in the sector were outside the central banks domain, it was a quantum leap for the central bank to allow gold to be treated like other minerals.
Although the devaluation of the dollars to US$1:$250 000 is expected improve miners viability, the gap between the interbank and parallel market exchange rates remains wide as the benchmark greenback is currently quoted at around US$1:$700 000 on the parallel market.
Previously, exporters retained the 70% for 30 days before disposing it on the official market. Gold producers only retained 40% of their receipts in foreign currency accounts. .
The rate had been stuck at US$1:$101 195 since January this year.