Zimbabwe’s key minerals recorded significant growth in the first quarter of 2022, according to Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe (CoMZ)chief executive Isaac Kwesu.
Speaking to the press ahead of the Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe annual conference, Kwesu said the gold segment was the best performer ahead of other minerals.
He said the gold segment had posted an 86 percent growth in mined volumes compared to the same quarter last year while lithium grew by 83 percent followed by diamond at 51 percent.
Coal and platinum groups of metals (PGMs) posted 21 percent and 13 percent respectively.
Kwesu alluded that the sector’s set target of achieving a US$12 billion economy by 2023 is attainable further citing inroads that have been made by some mining companies in the year and the previous year.
He said the sector was doing all it could to reach the target, banking on anticipated growth from last year’s 3.4 percent growth, from a Covid-induced contraction of minus 9 percent in 2020.
“The industry is doing its best, to the maximum of their abilities, there has been some expansion, new mines being set up, ramp up production of existing mines all these are signs that we are committed to the US$12 billion, we will play our part because it is an all stakeholder issue,” said Kwesu.
The mining sector export earnings in 2021 reached US$5, 2 billion contributing more than 85 percent to national export value. The mining sector has become the lynchpin in driving the economy through direct and indirect linkages with other key sectors of the economy.
Kwesu acknowledged major developments by players across the sector as potential key drivers of mineral volumes in the year particularly the resumption of operations at Shamva gold mine, and investments at Caledonia and Freda Rebecca gold mines.
RioZim BIOX project launched last month and new expansions at How Mine are additional endeavors expected to enhance the industry’s upturn.
“If you look into the gold sector there has been a hive of activity, last year and this year, we are now seeing these initiatives bearing fruits, we had more than 10 major gold producers undertaking various improvements or initiatives, from infrastructure to production.
“Caledonia mine launched their Central shaft this year and are expecting their production to hit 80 000 ounces for this year which is a first time record, Freda is ramping up their production, Shamva gold mine has reopened and many other initiatives that have resulted in a significant upturn,” he added.