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RioZim to take Zimbabwe central bank to court for lack of US dollar payments

RioZim Ltd. will take legal action to compel the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to pay for part of the company's output in U.S. dollars, Reuters reported Oct. 9.

The Zimbabwean gold miner said the country's central bank had only paid an average of 15% of sales in U.S. dollars since 2016, breaching its own policy. Mining companies sell their gold to central bank-owned Fidelity Printers and Refiners, which exports the products.

According to the bank's policy, gold mines can retain 30% of their dollar sales as of Oct. 1, compared to 50% before that.

The bank's policy is to credit miners' accounts with actual U.S. dollars, with the remaining 70% of sales paid through electronic dollars, known locally as "zollars," which have been falling in value on the black market even though they officially trade at par with U.S. currency.

Due to the central bank's failure to pay U.S. dollars to RioZim, the company was unable to import equipment and materials for capital projects, putting its operations in jeopardy, according to the report.

"The company has proceeded to formally serve the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with its notice advising it of its intention to file legal proceedings ... for a claim demanding that the central bank complies with its directives and policies," RioZim said in a statement.

The central bank's governor could not be reached for comment, Reuters added.