MINERAL sales by volume increased by 29% to 592 179 metric tonnes (mt) in the first four months of the year, with most minerals registering a growth, statistics from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) show.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Statistics from MMCZ show that a number of minerals in the first four months to April registered an increase in terms of volume and value.
Chrome ore registered 315% growth from 19 202mt to 79 762mt, while chrome concentrates on the other hand increased by 25% to 192 724mt.
Other notable growths were in coal mining, which grew 32% to 25 317mt, emeralds grew from 4mt to 26 464mt, granite increased by 12% to 53 097mt and petalite 46% to 20 808mt, among others.
Decreases were recorded in graphite, which recorded a 96% decline to 26mt, HCFC plummeted by 14% to 85 508mt and steel 13% to 390mt, among others.
The platinum group of metals (PGMs) concentrates remained unchanged at 47 273mt, while PGMs matte decreased by 8% to 3,497mt.
The highest foreign currency earner in the period under review was PGMS matte, which raked in $183 014 followed by PGMs concentrates at $151,784.
HCFC earned $80 624, chrome concentrates raked in $30 425, nickel $23 878 and diamonds $22 998.
In total, the minerals, excluding gold and silver, earned $508 639.
Last year, in the same period, the minerals earned $511 403.
MMCZ corporate communications executive, Pretty Musonza said there was some growth from the minerals across the board.
“For instance, you can see the chrome concentrate, there was a reduction in tonnage for the first four months because Zimplats, when they were developing the new mine, they were exporting concentrates,” she said.
“So they were sending out PGM concentrates instead of PGM matte. So there is a reduction in PGMs figures.”
MMCZ acting general manager, Nomsa Moyo said the increase in chrome ore volumes was a result of low rainfall, which was experienced this year compared to the same period last year.
“On chrome concentrates, these were stock piles while on chrome ore this year, we did not experience high rainfall compared to last year.
“Last year, no mining was taking place,” Moyo said.
Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation spokesperson, Dosman Mangisi said the significant increase in chrome concentrate and lumpy chrome was due to MMCZ setting the price.
“In 2017, miners experienced challenges of high rainfalls, a different story to the first quarter of 2018,” he said.