Mineral output is projected to rebound in the second half of this year after production fell across the sector in the first quarter compared to the same period the prior year
Mining is Zimbabwe’s single largest foreign currency earner, accounting for over 70 percent of export receipts. Major exports include gold, platinum, chrome and diamond.
Government say is working on growing mining from a US$3,5 billion industry to a US$12 billion sector by 2023 with gold, platinum, chrome, diamond, and lithium among the major contributors.
The targeted growth is part of the architecture forming the basis for Government’s Vision 2030 by which the southern Africa country should have attained upper middle income status.
CoMZ president Elizabeth Nerwande told a media briefing on Friday that 2020 was very challenging due to the Covid-19; but applauded the Government for allowing mining firms to operate; as an essential service sector.
She was speaking ahead of the CoMZ annual general meeting (AGM) slated for Victoria Falls next week. President Mnangagwa will be the guest of honour at the yearly mining Indaba, which is scheduled to run from 3-5 June, 2021.
“In the first quarter we saw a dip in production. This year’s theme is…“Navigating…The times and The Need to Build Resilience,” she said. Declines were recorded across key minerals including gold, nickel and chrome.
Similarly, CoMZ chief executive Isaac Kwesu said 2020 was a very difficult period as was the first quarter of this year. He said mines were not spared the challenges of Covid-19.“
Capital constraints are still an issue…Last year it was constrained by Covid-19. Operating costs remain high. The first quarter was generally bleak, as most minerals; gold, nickel and chrome declined,” Kwesu.
He said the sector would “see a rebound in the second quarter. We continue to work closely with the Government so that we achieve our targets. Most key minerals recorded output declines in the first quarter of 2021″.
Challenges besetting the sector include the coronavirus, which prompted national lockdowns across the globe and disrupted global supply chains, the shortage of forex, high costs and capital constraints.
“Despite the subdued first quarter performance, we are anticipating the mining sector to rebound in the second half and attain annual targets,” Kwesu told journalists.
Zimbabwe’s mining industry growth plan entails increasing individual mineral output, among the over 40 mineral occurrences, including but not limited to gold, platinum chrome, nickel, coal, lithium, steel and asbestos production. – Business Weekly