Gold earnings have emerged as the major driving force in the mining sector benefiting from firming international commodity prices, statistics from the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ) have shown.
The figures exclude revenues from diamonds.
In the five months to May, revenues from gold accounted for at least half of the total amount that was produced by the mining sector.
Statistics from CMZ showed that the mining sector produced minerals worth $879 million, with $376 million coming from the gold sector.
Since the beginning of the year, the price of bullion has been hovering around $1 600 per ounce.
Total gold output for the five months was 7 162kg. Output from the gold sector is projected to reach 15 000kg.
Platinum was the second largest contributor of revenue in the period under review with $211 million after the production of 4 708kg followed by palladium with 3 639kg and a total amount of $68,7 million.
Output from platinum and palladium is expected to reach 12 000kg and 9 600kg by the end of the year.
High carbon ferrochrome, nickel and coal contributed $65,9 million, $53,8 million and $35,9 million respectively to the earnings. Chrome output was 209,5kg raking in $24,9 million. The government last year banned the exportation of raw chrome.
Figures include statistics from graphite, rhodium, quartz rough, osmium and cobalt. The mining sector is anticipated to remain the major driving force behind the country’s overall economic growth.
Finance minister Tendai Biti in his 2012 National Budget projected the sector to grow by
15,9% despite funding constraints and erratic power supplies.
The sector requires over $5 billion for working capital and retooling after years of underfunding.
In a 2011 growth forecast for the mining sector, the figure was revised downwards to 25,8% from 33% due to revisions in production levels for platinum, nickel and palladium.