By Business Reporter
PRODUCTION of precious metals has been on an upward trajectory due to a cocktail of measures that have resulted in producers ramping up production.
Gold, diamond, chrome and coal are ahead of the pack in terms of output as evidenced by statistics published during the first half of 2018.
Presenting the mid-term monetary policy review statement in Harare, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Dr John Mangudya revealed that the mining sector is poised for growth following increased output from the sector.
Developments in the mining sector suggest a positive outcome, contributing to surpass the country’s initial economic growth projection of 4.5 percent, that is expected to register growth in excess of 5 percent by year end.
“Gold and platinum prices increased by 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, on stronger safe haven and investment demand of the metals, due to expectations of rising global inflation, growing geopolitical tensions, and a weaker US dollar,” said Mangudya.
Phenomenal growth was experienced in gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR), where 17.3 tonnes of gold were delivered during the first half of the year, compared to about 10 tonnes relative to 2017.
Government intervention through the US$150 million Gold Development Fund facility to assist small scale gold miners, coupled with joint compliance monitoring by the Gold Monitoring Committee, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has yielded a positive return on investment.
“It is pleasing to note that small scale producers accounted for 64 percent of the delivered 17.3 tonnes of gold to FPR. On the back of performance displayed in this period, the country remains on course to meet the target of 30 tonnes for the year 2018,” he said.
“Diamond output during the first half of 2018 stood at 1.904 million carats, significantly higher than the 1.388 million carats produced during the first half of 2017.”
Government conducted its test auction of diamond stockpile that closed on February 9, 2018 which realised US$829 067. The recent ZCDC diamond sales tender number three conducted from 28 August to 12 September 2018 saw 423,066.43 carats put on sale, yielding $28.3 million.
Mangudya further revealed that chrome output for year 2018 registered 43 percent growth from the previous year. “Chrome ore output also increased to 503 879 tonnes in Q2 2018, from about 411 446 tonnes in Q1 2018, and was 43% above the production realised during the same period in 2017.”
The governor noted that coal production experienced a 51 percent upward trajectory relative to 2017. “In addition, coal output, at 1.041 million tonnes during the second quarter of 2018, was 14.5% more than the 0.909 million tonnes produced in the comparable period of 2017. Cumulatively, coal output in the first half of 2018, stood at 1.921 million tonnes, which is about 51% above the 1.272 million tonnes registered during the same period in 2017.” ENDS//