Zim mineral earnings dip

HARARE - Zimbabwe's mineral earnings declined by 18 percent to $930 million in the half year to June 2013 from $1,1 billion realised in prior comparable period.

This comes as high production costs, lack of long-term capital and depressed global metal prices continue to threaten viability of the mining industry.

According to the latest Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) data, gold was the highest revenue generator bringing in $326 million in the period under review compared to $449 million recorded in previous period.

This is inspite of total gold production volumes plunging by 22 percent to 6, 7 tonnes from 8, 6 tonnes in prior period.

The yellow metal was followed by platinum which realised $292 million in revenue up from $285 million recorded same period last year.

Apart from sitting on the second largest known platinum reserves in the world after South Africa, Zimbabwe is richly-endowed with mineral wealth which include vast gold deposits, iron, nickel, diamonds, copper and coal among other key minerals. Platinum production was depressed increasing by a marginal two percent to 6, 6 tonnes compared to 6, 4 tonnes in prior period.

Palladium raked in $102,2 million decreasing by 31 percent from $149 million realised in same period last year.

Nickel registered the one of the biggest dip in revenue inflows by realising $64,5 million, down by 57 percent from $112,3 million recorded last year.

The sharp decrease in nickel’s revenues is largely attributable to the steep decline of nickel price — falling from $18 000 per tonne last year to the current price of $13 500 per tonne.

Nickel production volumes slowed down to 4,9 tonnes in the period under review from 7,9 tonnes in prior period.

High carbon ferrochrome’s revenue sharply declined to $46,7 million from $139,3 million in prior period as a result of low output which slowed down to 44,5 tonnes in the period under review.

Chrome production raised $10,7 million from 92 tonnes compared to $49 million realised from an output of 408 tonnes in the prior comparable period.

Diamonds production and revenue figures have remained elusive to government coffers, were not available in the CoMZ’s latest data update.

 

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