Zimbabwe boosts mineral production

Mineral production figures released by the Chamber of Mines last week indicate that gold, platinum, nickel and high-carbon ferrochrome were among the major contributors to mineral earnings.

A total of 6 031 kilogrammes of gold worth Z$12,8 billion were sold from January to July this year while some 2 804kg of platinum valued at Z$9,2 billion were sold during the period under review.

Some 5 146 tonnes of nickel worth Z$8,8 billion and 122 401 tonnes of carbon ferrochrome worth Z$8,2 billion were also sold.

Chrome production at 409 817 tonnes earned the country Z$3,9 billion while some 232,15kg of rhodium worth Z$2,7 billion were sold.

A total of 2 281kg of paladium valued at $2,1 billion, $56 642 tonnes worth $1,9 billion and 846 402 tonnes of coal worth Z$1,2 billion were also sold.

Meanwhile, production of several minerals has been on a downward trend in recent months, with asbestos production having declined from 10 829 tonnes in June last year to 9 064 tonnes in June this year.

Gold production at 1 188kg in June last year has dropped to 908kg during the same period this year.

Nickel production was at 741 tonnes in June last year but dropped to 676 tonnes this year.

Platinum and a number of platinum group metals such as paladium, rhodium and rhuthenium were, however, some of the minerals recording an increase in production.

Platinum production rose from 350kg in June last year to 389kg this year. Paladium rose from 304kg to 313kg for the period under review.

Mineral production in the country has been declining over the years due to mine closures, shortage of foreign currency and power among other factors.

Mining accounts for about 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product, about 4,5 percent of employment and 16 percent of total foreign exchange earnings. – New Ziana.

September 2006
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