HARARE (Mining Index) – DESPITE economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America (USA), the western nation has been one of Zimbabwe’s major importer of copper.
By Business Reporter – Monday 29 June 2020
In an interview with Mining Index, Tashinga Maponga, Director at Afro Southern says since last year, he has been mining copper in Kenzamba, 60km south of Chinhoyi.
He revealed that his copper claim produces an average of 15 percent copper ore grade and their major buyer is a US company.
“The deposit we are mining in Kenzamba has an average copper ore grade of 15 percent and gold at an average of 8g per ton,” he said.
“There is an American company called MCC that we have been supplying and it has been using Bolloré Warehouses as their stocking warehouse before shipment,”
“Their buyers and quality control team is based here in Zimbabwe and our mine currently has a capacity of producing 2000 tons per month as production only started last year in July,”
“We are currently only selling the pulverised copper ore to the MCC company who then export the copper ore for further processing,” said Maponga.
The United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade reported that Zimbabwe’s copper exports stood at US$2.45 million in 2019.
According to the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), areas of verified copper deposits in Zimbabwe include Makonde, Kadoma, Mutare, Chirumanzu, Chegutu, Kwekwe, Shurugwi, Beitbridge, Gokwe, Bindura, Chipinge, Bikita, Insiza, Makonde, Harare, Bulawayo, Shamva, Chiredzi, Nkayi, Mudzi, Chegutu, Bindura, Kwekwe, Hurungwe, Bubi, Makonde, Bikita, Gwanda, Masvingo.
While the American government imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe through enactment of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) of 2001, one wonders why the US invested US$200 million erecting an enormous diplomatic mission in Zimbabwe while maintaining sanctions on the host.
According to the US Embassy Harare, there is no US trade embargo on Zimbabwe. “American companies are interested in investing in Zimbabwe but are deterred by the massive levels of corruption, economic uncertainty, and weak rule of law. So, investors turn to other promising opportunities in the region and wait for the country to embrace the political and economic reforms that would make it a more attractive destination.”
In 2019, the United States had an apparent consumption of 1.8 million metric tons of unmanufactured copper, with 20 percent channelled towards transportation equipment; 20 percent for electric and electronic products; 10 percent towards consumer products while 7 percent was used for industry machinery and equipment.
“Copper is one to look out for with the rEVolution for Electric Vehicles (EV) taking place. Demand will soon outstrip supply,” said one mining industry analyst.
Analysts say while Zimbabwe knows she has a rich mineral base, Zimbabwe is yet to quantify her exact mineral resource base due to lack of resources to conduct exploration.
A brief activity of copper production in Zimbabwe took place in the 1970s. Fluctuating world copper prices since 1973 coupled with and increasing operating costs have been accompanied by a drop in the output.
Production of copper concentrates declined gradually since 1980, totalling 26 800 tons in 1981.
In 1995, Zimbabwe produced approximately 10 000 tons of copper concentrate (metal content) up from 9 800 produced in 1994. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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