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Zim gold output up but falls below target

Jan 23 2013 11:45
*Malcom Sharara
Harare - Zimbabwe's gold turnover in 2012 rose 18.94% to US$782.75m from the comparable year ago period, but failed to meet the targeted output of 15 000kg after production amounted to 14 742.99kg.

According to figures from the Chamber of Mines, total gold output rose 13.47% from 12 992kg in 2012 led by robust production in July, August and October. 

Monthly average production was 1 228.53kg. The major gold producing mines reported record production for the year on the back of improved investment into exploration.

Platinum production was at 10 524kg, a decrease of 2.79% from the comparable year ago period.  As a result, the value fell to $464.51m to $538.27m last year, a 13.7% drop. Platinum was forecast at 12 900kg.

Platinum miners last year scaled down production owing to a sharp increase in production costs, attributed to the hike in mining fees and ballooning input costs against falling global prices. 

Platinum prices were weak due to a slowdown in the automotive industry.

Total mineral production, excluding Hwange Colliery figures for coal, was at $1.863bn. Last year the country’s mineral production amounted to $2.01bn. This means 2012 mineral production fell below that of 2011.

High carbon ferrochrome turnover amounted to $156.75m, at 137 534 tonnes below the targeted 155 000t. Chrome production was at 408 475t at $48.96m. Most chrome mines are under care and maintenance owing to the low prices currently prevailing in the sector and high operating costs.

The output of nickel, mainly a byproduct of platinum mining, was at 7 898t with a value of $112.35m. Nickel production is expected to touch 25 000t in 2016.

According to projections, if $5bn is invested in the mining sector platinum production is expected to reach 21 000kg in 2016, while gold output will rise to 50 000kg. 

 - Fin24

*Malcom Sharara is Fin24's correspondent in Zimbabwe. 

zimbabwe  |  mining


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