Zim to rake $2,3bn from minerals

HARARE - Zimbabwe is expected to rake at least $2,3 billion this year from mineral exports, Mines minister, Walter Chidakwa, has said.

Chidakwa told delegates at the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) that the country was earning at least $45 million each week from minerals, adding Zimbabwe had potential to surpass the figure when all the country’s diamond mines become operational.

The minister said gold was the biggest contributor to these earnings, with the yellow metal’s total contributions for the year standing $614 million which is six percent higher than prior comparable period.

“Definitely, our earnings could be higher… I’m mining in two areas which are DMC and Marange...

“All else being equal we should be getting about $30 million per month from diamonds, however, this is not the case, after the formation of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), so it’s dragging earnings,” Chidakwa said.

The minister said his ministry was in negotiations with Russian miner, DTZ-OZGEO, to settle and take over the company’s business following eviction of other miners from the country’s diamond fields.

“We are presently in discussions with the Russians and we expect to have wrapped that up soon to begin production,” he said.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s new State-owned diamond miner produced 972 765 carats of diamonds against a target of 6 million carats, following government’s move to boot out all, but two, of the country’s local gem miners.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently said the controversial ZCDC  — formed after government in February force-merged six companies that were mining the gems in Marange  — had only been in production for four months, resulting in the poor performance.

It also recently emerged that the company was operating illegally, after Chidakwa formed the entity without an Act of Parliament to guide its operations.

ZCDC — which has so far remitted about

$1 million to Treasury — with a yearly fiscal contribution projection of $2 million is unable to mine from bigger concessions owned by Mbada Diamonds — the largest producer before the February evictions as well as two Chinese-run companies — Anjin and Jinan, which are all challenging their expulsion in court.

Diamond production figures are not readily available from the Mines ministry, but Zimbabwe was the eighth largest diamond producer in the world with 4,7 million carats in 2014, according to industry group Kimberly Process.

However, diamond revenue has remained Chinamasa’s headache with very little being realised from the auction of Zimbabwe’s gems.

President Robert Mugabe earlier this year announced the country had lost an estimated $15 billion to leakages in the sector.

Meanwhile, global diamond sales growth is not expected to accelerate any time soon, as demand from China continues to slump, according to the World Diamond Council.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.