Harare - Zimbabwe’s mineral production generated US$1.36bn in the nine months to September. The revenue figure, however, does not include diamond revenues and the September figures for coal and chrome.
According to figures obtained from the Chamber of Mines, the country generated $2.013bn from its minerals in the full year to December 31 2012.
The gold sub-sector remained the country’s top mineral contributor, accounting for almost half of the country’s mineral production.
Gold output in the nine months to September grew 31% over the same period last year in value terms to $585.007m from $447.18m.
A total 11 139.5 kg of gold were produced in the period, against 12 992.52 kg produced in the full year to December 31 2011.
Gold production is forecast to close the year at 15 000 kg. Some of the country’s major gold producers include Blanket Mine, Falgold Mines, Metallon Gold Zimbabwe, RioZim, ZMDC’s Jeba and Sabi mines and Pan African Mining.
Platinum production in the period amounted to 7 433.80 kg worth $325.043m. Zimbabwe has grown production of the mineral by 121% since 2006.
The country has about 2.8 billion tonnes of platinum-bearing resources, of those total 4E PGM (platinum group metals platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) resources are 400 million ounces. Output is expected to grow 3% to 365 000 oz this year and is forecast to reach 393 000 oz in 2013.
Palladium production generated $105.25m from 5 732.01 kg. Palladium demand is intensifying globally as a result of the substitution of palladium for platinum in gasoline and diesel catalytic converters, expanding automotive production.
The white metal can now be substituted for platinum on a one-for-one, ounce-for-ounce basis, which has strengthened the market for palladium in gasoline catalytic converters.
Analysts say palladium is facing a substantial supply deficit going forward that will likely be met by a combination of price-driven demand destruction and shifting back to platinum or using rhodium.
It is estimated that the mining industry requires $5-7bn to recover and grow over the next five years. The breakdown of the amounts required are as follows: platinum 40%, gold 33%, diamonds 11%, coal 8%, chrome 4% and nickel 4%.
If this amount is invested the volume of production for the major minerals will grow in the next five years to: gold 50 000 kg per year, platinum 21 000 kg per year, nickel 25 000 t per year, hydrochlorofluorocarbons 262 000 t per year and coal 7 million t per year.