Home » Business » Zim’s Mineral Income Drops 15 Percent

ZIMBABWE’s mineral income for the first quarter of this year dropped 15,4 percent amid volatile international prices, figures from Mines and Mining Development show.

The statistics, however, exclude diamond revenues and coal sales for March. Total mineral revenue declined to $435 million from $502 million realised in the previous comparable period, with gold contributing about a third of the total revenue.

The value of gold production declined to $134,6 million from $169 million, while volumes increased to 3,3 tonnes from 3,2 tonnes a year earlier.

Gold accounted for more than 30 percent of the total value produced in 2013. Gold output for 2013 was 14 tonnes, down 4,49 percent at a value of about $626,11 million.

Gold remains the mainstay of mineral production in the country accounting and the Government is targeting to become one of the top five gold producing countries in Africa within the next three years, according to Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Government also intends to reorganise the gold sector and legalising the operations of gold panners.

Zimbabwe has over 20 000 gold panners whose output, if properly accounted for, would significantly increase the country’s gold output. The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe has also said gold production could reach 50 tonnes in the next five years.

The value of platinum exports fell to $129 million in the first quarter from $149 million in the previous comparable period. Platinum output also declined to 3 000kg from 3 300kg.

The country exported palladium worth $50,4 million, up from $51 million a year ago while volumes remained almost flat at 2 500kg. About $7,6 million was realised from rhodium, $37,7 million from high carbon ferrochrome, $10 million from copper $500 548 from graphite.

The mining sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of growth, contributing more to gross domestic product. However, analysts say there is need to ensure that the sector’s fiscal obligations are met through enhanced compliance in terms of remittance of mining tax revenue.

Source : The Herald