Harare - Zimbabwe produced minerals worth $1.603bn for the ten months to October spurred on by gold production. For the whole of last year, the country generated $2.013bn from its minerals.
According to figures from the Chamber of Mines, gold production in the period was 12 477kg worth $657.603m mainly on the back of increases in exploration activities in some of the country’s leading mines.
Investment in exploration at the privately owned mines such as Blanket Mine, New Dawn mines and Duration Gold has led to record gold production this year.
Freda Rebecca is now the largest gold producers in the country after it passed its targeted 72 000oz annualised rate of production.
Gold production is forecast to close the year at 15 000kgs.
In the country, 90% gold deposits occur along Archaean greenstone belts and surrounding granitoids. Greenstones are one of the most extensive and productive sources of gold and therefore considered a treasure chest for miners. However lack of capitalisation has resulted in less exploration activities with only a few mines operating at full capacity.
Platinum production for the ten months was at 9 210kg, generating $404.71m in the process. In 2011 platinum production earned $532.27m.
It is estimated that the mining industry requires $5bn to $7bn to recover and grow over the next 5 years. The break-down 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 5 years to: gold: 50 000kg/yr, platinum 21 000kg/yr, nickel 25 000 tonnes/yr, HCFC 262 000t/yr and coal 7m tonnes/yr.
Currently the mining sector contributes 13% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), almost matching the 14% contributed by the manufacturing sector. Analysts believe if key challenges facing the mining sector such as inadequate capital and energy supply constraints are overcome, mining can contribute as much as 18% to GDP by 2015, and well above 25% by 2020.