HARARE, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is expecting a new record gold output of 34 tonnes in 2018 as the authorities institute measures to curb leakage of the precious metal.
The country's peak gold output was in 1999, when 27 tons were produced.
Over the years, production dropped sharply due to economic challenges facing the nation, but output has since started to rise again, and stood at 28 tonnes in September this year.
The country produced 24 tonnes of gold in 2017.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando was quoted by The Herald newspaper on Wednesday as saying that a special task force set up by the government to curb gold leakages would contribute significantly to deliveries to the state-owned Fidelity Printers, the country's sole gold buyer.
The national gold mobilization task force is mandated with making sure that all the gold produced in the country goes through formal channels.
It comprises of officials from the ministry of mines, Zimbabwe Defense Forces and the police.
"Gold deliveries, to date, are actually at a record because we are at 28 tonnes and the projection is that we could actually hit 34 tonnes which will be a record in the history of this country," Chitando said.
Gold is one of Zimbabwe's major foreign exchange earners.
For the country to achieve the government's target of becoming an upper-middle-income economy by 2030, gold output should jump to 100 tonnes per year, the minister said.