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Zimbabwe Gold Reserves Detailed Guide: History, Accumulation, Value and Global Context

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Zimbabwe, known for its rich mineral resources, has a long history with gold. From the ancient Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe to modern times, gold has been a cornerstone of the nation’s economy. This article explores the historical significance, the process of accumulation, and the current value of Zimbabwe’s gold reserves, providing a comprehensive overview for economists, academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople interested in the country’s economic landscape.

Also Read: John Mushayavanhu Biography| Profile, Education, Career,  RBZ Governor, Controversies

Historical Context of Gold in Zimbabwe

The history of gold in Zimbabwe dates back to the pre-colonial era, with the ancient Kingdom of Zimbabwe renowned for its gold trade. The Great Zimbabwe ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stand as a testament to the country’s historical gold wealth. In the colonial period, gold mining became more systematic, contributing significantly to the economy.

Accumulation of Gold Reserves: A Strategic Move

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) embarked on a strategic journey to bolster the nation’s gold reserves in recent years, recognizing the importance of gold as a stabilizing force in the economy.

This initiative gained momentum with the introduction of a transformative policy in 2022, which mandated mining companies to remit a portion of their royalties in refined minerals, including gold.

This policy was a calculated move to ensure a steady accumulation of gold reserves, vital for economic stability and currency backing.

The implementation of this policy was a multi-faceted approach involving the collaboration of various stakeholders. Mining companies engaged in the extraction of gold, diamonds, lithium, and platinum group metals (PGMs) began contributing to the national reserves by paying part of their royalties in kind.

For bulkier minerals like lithium, companies surrendered the cash equivalent of their obligations, which the RBZ then utilized to purchase gold, further augmenting the reserves.

By April 2023, this concerted effort had yielded significant results, with the RBZ successfully stockpiling over 350 kilograms of gold.

The momentum continued, and by February 2024, the reserves had grown to 793 kilograms. This was a testament to the country’s robust mining activities and the effectiveness of the new policy in building a substantial gold reserve.


The Value of Gold Reserves in 2024

In 2024, the value of Zimbabwe’s gold reserves became a focal point, especially with the introduction of the gold-backed Zimbabwe Currency (ZiG). The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) reported that the nation’s gold reserves amounted to a substantial 2.5 tons.

Of this total, 1.5 tons of gold were held within the RBZ’s vaults, while an additional one ton was held offshore. This strategic distribution of gold reserves, both domestically and internationally, underscores Zimbabwe’s commitment to safeguarding its economic interests and ensuring the stability of its new currency.

The monetary value of the gold reserves held in the RBZ’s vaults and offshore was estimated at $175 million. This valuation is significant, as it provides a solid foundation for the ZiG currency, aiming to bolster investor confidence and stabilize the national economy.

The 2.5 tons of gold reserves, coupled with the $175 million valuation, represent a critical asset for Zimbabwe. They are supposed to serve not only as a buffer against economic volatility but also as a cornerstone for the country’s financial strategies and policies moving forward.

Zimbabwe Gold Reserves Detailed Guide: History, Accumulation, Value and Global Context

[Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Comparison with Global Gold Reserves

When compared to other countries, Zimbabwe’s gold reserves are modest. South Africa, for instance, holds 125.3 tonnes of gold reserves, valued at approximately $8.3 billion.

When compared to global standards, Zimbabe’s gold reserves are even more modest. To put this into perspective, let’s compare Zimbabwe’s reserves with those of other countries:

Top 10 Countries With the Most Gold Reserves

  1. United States: 8,133 metric tons ($480.84 billion)
  2. Germany: 3,355 metric tons ($198.35 billion)
  3. Italy: 2,452 metric tons ($144.97 billion)
  4. France: 2,437 metric tons ($144.08 billion)
  5. Russia: 2,299 metric tons ($135.92 billion)
  6. China: 1,948 metric tons ($115.17 billion)
  7. Switzerland: 1,040 metric tons ($61.49 billion)
  8. Japan: 846 metric tons ($50.02 billion)
  9. India: 785 metric tons ($46.41 billion)
  10. Netherlands: 612 metric tons ($36.18 billion)

Impact of Gold Reserves on Zimbabwe’s Economy

The accumulation of gold reserves has several implications for Zimbabwe’s economy. It provides a buffer against economic volatility and strengthens the country’s financial position. The introduction of the gold-backed ZiG currency is a strategic move to tackle inflation and stabilize the exchange rate. This approach is expected to foster investor confidence and enhance the country’s economic prospects.


Zimbabwe’s gold reserves are a testament to the country’s rich mineral heritage and a cornerstone of its economic strategy. The strategic accumulation of gold reserves and the introduction of a gold-backed currency are pivotal moves towards economic stability and independence. As Zimbabwe continues to navigate its economic landscape, the role of gold reserves will remain central. Will the country’s gold reserves be the golden key to unlocking its economic potential?


  1. “Govt stockpiles 350kg gold after new policy” – The Sunday Mail, April 2, 2023. Link
  2. “After taking gold as royalties, RBZ builds reserves of 793kg” – newZWire, February 14, 2024. Link
  3. “Zimbabwe Central Bank Says It Has Assets Worth 2.5 Tons of Gold” – VOA, April 7, 2024. Link
  4. “Zimbabwe Central Bank Accumulates Almost a Ton of Gold Reserves” – Bloomberg, February 13, 2024. Link
  5. “Zimbabwe introduces new gold-backed currency to tackle inflation” – Al Jazeera, April 5, 2024. Link
  6. “Zim holds 2,5t gold, US$300m cash reserves” – The Herald, April 5, 2024. Link
  7. “President Mnangagwa tours RBZ vaults, takes stock of country’s gold reserves” – The Herald, April 4, 2024. Link
  8. “Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe gold reserves rise to 1,2 tonnes” – The Sunday Mail, March 17, 2024. Link

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