Significant Monetary Policy Changes Announced in Zimbabweadmin
New Dawn Mining Corp. commented on the recent Monetary Policy Statement released by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (“RBZ”) and the encouraging impact that the new policy statement potentially has to New Dawn’s mining operations in Zimbabwe.
In general, the proposed changes detailed in the new MPS are far reaching and are expected to have a significant and positive impact on New Dawn’s ability to potentially resume its Zimbabwe gold mining operations in the near term.
Among other changes, the new MPS contemplates specific improvements for gold producers that are designed to counter the factors that contributed to the Zimbabwe gold sector decline over the last 18 months. These factors also forced the Company to suspend gold production at its Turk Mine and place it on temporary “care and maintenance” effective October 3, 2008.
One of the most significant changes in the new MPS is that gold producers will, after receipt of a Gold Export Permit, be in control of their gold sales; gold companies will be able to produce and sell gold and be reasonably assured that they will be paid for their bullion within normal trade terms, as such gold production may be marketed outside of the control of the RBZ.
Additionally, under the new MPS, gold producers will now retain 92.5% of their sales in foreign exchange (up from 85%). These funds may be held indefinitely, as compared to the previous requirement to convert any remaining foreign exchange to local Zimbabwe currency within thirty days of receipt.
The ability to freely market gold production, will also allow gold producers access to certain financial instruments such as gold loans that would then be collaterised by their own physical gold inventory, thus making access to operating capital and new project financing significantly easier.
Under the new MPS, all current outstanding receivables owed to gold producers, such as New Dawn, will be converted into a “Special Tradable Gold-Back Foreign Exchange Bond”, which will have a term of 12 months and will pay interest at 8% per annum upon maturity. The interest owed is to be accrued from the time that the money has been outstanding. The RBZ has stated that it will honor the full principal plus interest on maturity. When implemented, New Dawn expects to receive the new bond in the approximate amount of $2,389,970, representing the balance of monies currently owed by the RBZ to New Dawn.
Furthermore, the RBZ has laid out certain measures to significantly de-regulate Zimbabwe’s exchange control policies. These measures include the ability of gold producers to pay for goods and services offshore, as well as all genuine external debts, dividends, etc without prior Exchange Control approval. This step is expected to make the flow of operational capital more efficient, and allow for the unfettered transfer of operational proceeds.
As a result of the items discussed above, management has commenced a review of the proposals contained in the new MPS in order to assess the likely impact on the operating environment in Zimbabwe, with a mind to determining the feasibility of resuming mining operations at the Turk/Angelus Mines and processing facility in the near term.