Min­ing rev­enue flat as gold, plat­inum out­put in­creases

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

ZIM­BABWE’s min­eral earn­ings in the nine months to Septem­ber were flat at $1,38 bil­lion de­spite a marked in­crease in plat­inum and gold out­put, as com­mod­ity prices re­mained de­pressed, the Cham­ber of Mines said on Wed­nes­day.

Gold prices rose by six per­cent this year, but the av­er­age price of plat­inum has fallen by nearly 10 per­cent while that of nickel de­clined by 2.7 per­cent.

Gold out­put in­creased by 13 per­cent to 16,1 tonnes, earn­ing the coun­try $648.6 mil­lion from $532.5 mil­lion last year.

Plat­inum out­put has in­creased by 20 per­cent to 10.8 tonnes from 9 tonnes last year but rev­enues only grew four per­cent to $298.5 mil­lion.

“Re­flect­ing de­pressed prices, among other chal­lenges, min­eral rev­enue for the pe­riod un­der re­view re­mained flat at $1.38 bil­lion com­pared to $1.34 bil­lion in the same pe­riod last year,” said the Cham­ber chief ex­ec­u­tive, Mr Isaac Kwesu.

“Our in­dus­try re­mains frag­ile notwith­stand­ing out­put growth we still have a high cost struc­ture com­pared to other min­ing ju­ris­dic­tions the op­er­at­ing costs char­ac­terised by a high elec­tric­ity tar­iff, ex­pen­sive fund­ing and sub op­ti­mal fis­cal charges.”

Rev­enue from di­a­monds has de­clined by 43 per­cent to $72 mil­lion as pro­duc­tion in the sec­tor fell 37 per­cent to 1.6 mil­lion carats.

Nickel pro­duc­tion in­creased from 11 900 tonnes to 13 200 tonnes but rev­enue de­clined by 22 per­cent $87,8 mil­lion.

Coal pro­duc­tion fell by 36 per­cent from 3,1 mil­lion tonnes last year to 1.9 mil­lion tonnes this year.

The min­ing sec­tor has recorded neg­a­tive growth for the past two years; -3.4 per­cent in 2014 and -2.5 per­cent in 2015. Ear­lier this year, Kwesu said the sec­tor is likely to re­main de­pressed in 2016 and 2017. — The Source

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