Leading Zimbabwean gold miner RioZim has taken the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), to court over unpaid forex from export proceeds since 2016. The $92 million-dollar lawsuit came a few days after the government had agreed on an arrangement to honour their financial obligations with the mining giant.
Two months ago, RioZim closed three of its biggest mining operations in the country. In October the miner had indicated that failure by government to honour its US dollar obligations would soon prompt them to pursue the legal route.
“In breach of exchange control directives and notwithstanding numerous requests by the plaintiff to be given access to utilise the foreign currency it generated externally in order to meet its operational requirements, the plaintiff received from the first defendant only 15% of the amount due to be allocated in US Dollars, as opposed to the stated 50%,” read RioZim’s declaration filed with the High Court.
“Failure to receive dollar payments left the plaintiff unable to import equipment and materials for capital projects, thereby putting its operations in jeopardy,” added RioZim in its submissions.
Gold producers are required to deliver all their production to Fidelity Printers, a subsidiary of the RBZ. Fidelity in turn credits miners 50% through the local RTGS (real time gross settlement) and another 50% in forex.