Mineral revenues surge

First quarter mineral revenues surged 10,4% to $458,4 million buoyed by an increase in output, latest statistics from the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ) have shown.

The increase in output was despite continued electricity supply constraints, funding challenge and high mining fees.

Gold contributed $187,9 million to the total amount with 3 494kg followed by platinum with 2 725 kg worth $121 million, while palladium and high carbon ferrochrome contributed $40 million and $38,6 million respectively.

We also faced challenges in the interpretation and application of environmental regulations particularly sections that deal with the use of lined landfills. Fiscal environment characterised by increased royalties, as well as other fees and charged levies on the industry, said CMZ president Winston Chitando.

He said some CMZ members contributed resources to enable the countrys power utility Zesa Holdings to maintain essential power supplies.

Platinum mining firms Mimosa and Zimplats recently advanced $10 million to cash-strapped power utility to enable it to settle part of its debts and ensure guaranteed uninterrupted power supply.

Chitando said negotiations were on-going with Zesa subsidiaries Zimbabwe Power Company and Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company to arrive at an agreed tariff for ring fenced customers.

He also said CMZ was in discussion with the government after mining claims fees for platinum and diamond mines applications were increased to between $2 million and $5 million per year.

The CMZ has come up with its own view and the paper has been given to the government. I think it will be unfair to go public and discuss what is in the document. Once we engage and agree or disagree, we will then comment, Chitando said.

Meanwhile, the CMZ will next week hold its 73rd annual general meeting at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls under the theme Powering the Mining Industry for Growth and Development.

Speakers at the mining indaba will include Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu, Finance minister Tendai Biti, Economic minister Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada, Deloitte and Touche country manager, Tawanda Gumbo, head of resources Public Investment Corporation South Africa, Fidelis Madavo and chairperson for the Competition and Tariff Commission, Dumisani Sibanda, among others.

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