ZIMBABWE’s mineral export earnings increased by 25,1% to $1,692 billion as at September 15, 2017, buoyed by the increase in all minerals production across the board, Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidakwa has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba 2017 in Bulawayo yesterday, Chidakwa said all minerals performed positively in the period under review, except diamonds, which recorded a negative variance.
“As of September 15, 2017, cumulative mineral exports from January 2017 stood at $1,692 billion compared to $1,352bn during the same period last year, that is, January to September. This represents an approximately a 25,1% increase,” he said.
“Cumulative gold exports, as of September 15, 2017, stood at 14,731 tonnes valued at $631,84 million compared to 14,275 tonnes valued at $575, 978 million during the same period last year. This represents an increase of 3,2% and 9,7% in volume and value terms, respectively.”
Chidakwa said higher production figures could have been realised were it not for incessant rains, which affected gold production in the first quarter of 2016.
He said in the period under review, platinum generated $617m compared to $540m, diamonds $63,7m compared to $89,7m, gold $631m compared to $575m, ferrochrome $224m compared to $62m last year, and raw chrome $69m compared to $7,8m last year.
“Platinum has suffered problems of price. The price of platinum about five years ago rose to almost $2 000 per ounce and it came down progressively and is sitting at around $920 per ounce,”Chidakwa said.
“But what has happened is that the few companies that are mining platinum at the moment have increased their production. This is in spite of the fact that the biggest platinum company, which is Zimplats, suffered a collapse of the mine.”
Mining is one of the country’s biggest foreign currency earners raking in $2,2 billion last year from
$2,1 billion in 2015, with major contributors being gold and platinum group of metals.