Mining to grow by 44 percent this year


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Mining, which grew by 44 percent last year and contributed 65 percent of the country’s export earnings, is expected to grow by 44 percent this year.

Zimbabwe’s exports for 2010 amounted to $2.2 billion with mining accounting for $1.7 billion up from $708 million in 2009.

Other major contributors to the country’s export shipments were tobacco (17.2 percent), agriculture (8.4 percent) and manufacturing (7.6 percent).

The growth in mining was boosted by firming prices. Chrome production increased by 148 percent, gold by 61 percent, nickel by 26 percent, coal by 25 percent and platinum by 24 percent.

The massive increases in production were achieved despite the erratic power supply and the unavailability of affordable credit.

Gold output which stood at 7.6 tonnes at the end of October is expected to reach 13 tonnes this year.

Platinum output could reach 12.5 tonnes this year. It was 7.3 tonnes at the end of October. Production is likely to be boosted by the coming on line of Anglo-American’s Unki.

Chrome production is estimated to have increased significantly by 148 percent from 201 000 tonnes in 2009, to 500 000 tonnes in 2010, driven by increased processing at ZIMASCO and Zimbabwe Alloys.

It is projected to increase to 700 000 tonnes this year as a result of planned expansion programmes.

Nickel production was subdued owing to non-resumption of production at Bindura Nickel Corporation, which has remained under care and maintenance since 2008. Output was estimated at 6 120 tonnes in 2010, from 4 857 tonnes in 2009.

If Bindura Nickel Mine resumes operations in the first quarter of 2011 output could increase to 7 600 tonnes.

Coal output was estimated at 2 million tonnes in 2010 and could reach 3 million tonnes this year.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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