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Gold production registered a 25 percent growth in the first quarter of the same period last year to boost the mining sector’s growth for the period to $452 million in value terms.Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Mr Isaac Kwesu said the first quarter is looking better than the comparative period last year.

He said coal had registered a 55 percent increase followed by nickel which jumped by 5 percent.

The gold sector has particularly performed much better considering that it recorded a 2,1 percent decrease in the first quarter of 2014.

“The mining sector’s first quarter is looking better than the same period last year on the back of the major movement in gold. The majority of the gold has been coming from small players,” said Mr Kwesu.

However, chrome recorded a 45 percent decrease pulled down mostly by energy costs. About 50 percent of the sector’s costs are on electricity and hence players are engaging Government and the utility Zesa for a tariff review.

“The electricity tariffs are the major contributor to the cost structure. Players are proposing a reduction in tariffs to $0,08 KWH from the current $0,13WH,” said Mr Kwesu.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines will hold its 76th Annual General Meeting and conference in Victoria Falls from Thursday. The conference will run under the theme “Shared Vision, Shared Values, Shared Benefits: A Roadmap for the Zimbabwe Minerals Resources Sector”.

“The theme is guided by the desire to address the aspirations of our country through a thriving and growing mining industry. The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the founding principles and values underpinning the mining industry. It will also explore how we can build consensus on the kind of mining industry we all aspire to have,” said the Chamber’s president Mr Alex Mhembere.

Some of the key issues that the event will seek to interrogate include achieving an equitable and optimum share of mineral benefits, the current contribution of the mining industry to the economy and how to maximise the contribution to achieve the socio economic well-being of the society.

The conference will also interrogate the critical success factors and enablers that must be addressed to achieve the desired benefits.

At the AGM, the council representatives will consider issues critical for the running of the Chamber and give guidelines to the executive committee to manage until next council meeting.

The AGM will consider statutory issues inclusive of the audited accounts of organisation. The council meeting will elect office bearers for the 2015 16 year as is required by the constitution. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be the guest of honour while Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa will give a keynote address.

The prime event will be attended by leading personalities in minerals industry that include policy makers, industry executives, senior representatives of the suppliers and mining communities representatives to unpack opportunities and craft solutions for the mining industry.

Source : The Herald