By Business Reporter – Friday 8 March 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – THE mining sector has emerged as the biggest consumer of fuel in Zimbabwe gobbling 25 percent of fuel imports, primarily diesel.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) revealed 25 percent of fuel is consumed by the mining sector alone.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) allocates approximately US$100 million per month towards fuel importation, implying the mining sector alone spends US$25 million per month on fuel.
During an artisanal and emerging miners conference held in December last year, RBZ Economist Tawanda Mubvuma disclosed Zimbabwe has an estimated 500 000 miners.
With heavy equipment used in mining, a benchmark of say 10 litres of diesel per hour, translates into 100 litres of diesel during a 10 hour operational shift for one machine, per day.
Earlier this week, government liberalised importation of fuel by allowing big companies including those in the mining sector to use their funds to import fuel for own consumption.
In 2015, Statutory Instrument (SI) 171 was amended to allow members of the public to import up to 2 000 litres of fuel per month for personal use.
Energy and Power Development Minister Joram Gumbo in February this year revealed daily consumption of both diesel and petrol rose by 342 percent and 650 percent respectively between April and October 2018.
Petrol consumption spiked from one million litres per day to approximately 7.6 million litres per day, while diesel consumption rose from 1.9 million litres per day to about 7.6 million litres daily.
The mining sector, which is the country’s largest foreign currency earner contributing 70 percent, is projected to grow by 7.5 percent as announced in the 2019 national budget. ENDS//