Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s mining output slumped during the first quarter of the year across major minerals, as the COVID-19 pandemic among other factors hit production, an official has said.
Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Isaac Kwesu told reporters ahead of the organisation’s AGM next week that gold, PGMs, nickel and chrome were the most affected.
He said inadequate foreign currency allocations and capital constraints also affected production.
“Most key mineral recorded output declines in the first quarter of 2021,” he said without providing data as figures were still being compiled.
However, he said diamond and coal output increased during the period under review.
“Despite the subdued first quarter performance, we are anticipating the mining sector to rebound in the second half and attain annual targets.”
Zimbabwe is working towards transforming the mining sector into a $12 billion industry by 2023.
To achieve this, government has set in motion plans to fast track exploration and implementation of a robust local value addition program to boost earnings.
Gold is expected to anchor the attainment of the ambitious target, with the yellow metal expected to contribute about $4 billion to the $12 billion target.
Mining, one of the major sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy, accounted for over 60 percent of the country’s foreign currency receipts in 2019 and contributed around 16 percent to national Gross Domestic Product, according to the Chamber of Mines.