Zimbabwe mineral earnings dropped by 5.59 percent to $1.41 billion in the year to November 2014 due to poor performance of commodity prices on the international market, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said.
In its Zimbabwe monthly economic review for November released yesterday, the regional bank said gold was the major contributor to total revenue, accounting for 31.77 percent whilst platinum contributed 27.50 percent of the total mining earnings.
“Zimbabwe continues to experience growth in gold production driven by small scale miners despite a fall in gold prices on the international market,” said AfDB.
The continued fall in gold prices has also seen local mining companies facing viability challenges.
Last month the Chamber of Mines warned that gold mining firms were making losses of up to $100 an ounce due to weak bullion prices and could collapse unless government reduced royalties.
“If no immediate measures are taken… in the extreme, mines will go under care and maintenance to preserve assets,” said the Chamber of Mines then.
The AFDB noted that cumulative gold deliveries for January to November 2014 increased by 6.36 percent to 12.32 tonnes compared to the same period in 2013.
“On a year by year basis, total gold deliveries increased by 17.15 percent to 1 205.37 kg in November 2014, with deliveries by primary producers declining by 5.26 percent to 784.54 kg in November 2014, whilst deliveries by small-scale producers increased by 109.63 percent to 420.83 kg in November 2014,” said the bank.
The latest statistics show that Zimbabwe surpassed the minimum 10 tonnes required to be re-accredited into the London Bullion Marketers Association (LBMA).
Zimbabwe, once regarded as one of Africa’s main gold producers was booted out of the LBMA in 2008 when gold output reached an all-time low of three tonnes from a peak of 29 tonnes in 1999.
The government has targetted to raise gold production levels to 30 tonnes per year by 2018.-The Source