The value of mineral output for the first half of 2016 (excluding diamond, coal and chrome) increased by 8.8% to $806 million, from $741 million during the same period in 2015 on the back of strong output performance of key minerals.
Gold revenue surged $415 mln in the first half of 2016 compared to $340mln under the same period in 2015 riding on a production output increase to 10 360 kg in the first half of 2016 compared to 8,869 kg same period last year.
Of the 10 360 kg produced during the first half of 2016, 55% was accounted for by large scale primary producers, while 36% and 9% came from small scale and secondary producers, respectively.
In his representation at the Chamber of mines breakfast meeting, President Toendepi Muganyi said albeit lower than desired, key minerals such as gold, platinum and nickel recorded significant output growth in the first half of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015
“Large scale producers increased output by 7% (to 5 701 kg in 2016, from 5 324 kg in 2015), while deliveries from small scale producers increased by 31% (from 2 863 kg to 3 748 kg for the comparable periods),” he said.
Nickel production increased by 9,101 tons from 7,918 tons under the same period last year with BNC, the primary producer accounting for 37% of the total while the rest (63%) came from secondary producers ( platinum producers).
Nickel revenue rose to $ 58,mln compared to last $79 mln same period last year whilst Nickel price remained subdued, averaging US$8 600/ ton in the first half of 2016, compared to US$13 707/ ton in 2015.
Chrome exports rose by $3,6 mln from $1,1 mln in the first half of 2015 riding on the back of a 250 % increase to 47,913 tons compared to 13,697 tons during the same period in 2015.
Platinum revenue increased by $211mln from $ 185 mln in the prior period while production rose to 7,968 kgs from 5,561kgs in the previous period.
In the period under review palladium revenue also increased to $97,9mln compared to $97 mln under the same period last year on the back of an increase in production to 6402 tons from 4,414 tons same period last year.
Muganyi said, With the exception of gold, average prices for all key minerals during the first half of 2016 were lower than the same period in 2015.
Average gold price for 2016 was US$1 219/ ounce, compared to US$1 206/ ounce for the comparable period in 2015, while platinum price at US$958/ ounce, was 18% lower than US$1 161/ ounce recorded in the same period in 2015.
Munganyi said while gold, platinum and nickel are expected to register significant output growths, output for diamonds and coal were expected to decline.
According to Muganyi Chamber of Mines statistics show that of the $12.5 billion export earnings generated by the industry between 2009 and 2015 approximately $8.6 billion (69%) was spent locally through purchases of supplies, remuneration of workers, government taxes, and other local expenditure.
“Of the $3 billion generated by the Platinum industry between 2012 and 2015, more than $2.3 billion was spent locally,” he said.
Mining industry requires $3.8 billion to optimize production in the next five years and Muganyi said there is need for a favorable investment climate to facilitate the mobilization of the required capital.
Meanwhile Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa said he was optimistic that the country might not be able to achieve the target of 6mln carats set for the diamond sector due to resistance by some companies merge into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company which in turn delayed commencement of production.
“I am happy with the overall performance of the sector. Production is certainly low in one area that is diamonds; we need to make sure that we met the target we set for ourselves. We set a target of 6ml carats but were nowhere near that. This happened because of the distractions that came about in the reorganizations in that sector,” he said.