HARARE – The Zimbabwean mining sector is expecting to register a marginal increase in revenue earnings this year to $2, 5 billion from $2, 38 billion in 2017, the industry representative body has said.
The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ) said the increase in revenue is anticipated on the back of a marginal rise in production of all the major minerals.
“Mineral revenue for 2017 was at $2, 38 billion up from $2, 2 billion in 2016, benefiting from strong output performance, and favorable prices, specifically gold and palladium.” it said.
“In 2018, mineral revenue is expected at $2, 5 billion.” Last year, mineral output grew by 8, 5 percent underpinned by a strong performance in gold, diamond, chrome and coal. This year, gold production is expected to go up by 13 percent, diamonds by 40 percent, platinum by 9 percent, chrome 80 percent and palladium 5 percent.
The CMZ however warned that the sector remained fragile as it continued to operate below capacity due to a host of challenges chief among them shortage of foreign currency which was resulting in delays in foreign payments.
Other challenges included inadequate capital, high cost structure (high electricity tariff, suboptimal fiscal charges), power disruptions, low exploration activities and depressed metal prices mainly for platinum and nickel.
If strides were made to address the obstacles to production, the industry could even perform better than envisaged, the CMZ said.
“The finalisation of ongoing ease doing business reforms in the mining sector under the 100 day Rapid Results Initiative will go a long way in removing the impediments and improve the competitiveness (for investment) and viability of the mining sector,” the chamber said.
The mining sector body said government must accord gold producers exporter status, which will give them nostro accounts cover for importation of critical requirements for production.
Zimbabwe’s mining industry is one of the top two foreign currency earning sectors, with tobacco being the other. – New Ziana