06 Feb 2019
Mines minister Winston Chitando has revealed Zimbabwe is aiming to bring in more than US$4 billion in revenue from the mining sector in 2019.
The mining sector generated US$3.4 billion in 2018, thanks to the gold sector bringing in a record 33.2 tonnes – albeit the potential of higher output had it not been for insufficient foreign currency during the end of the year, which resulted in production cuts at a number of mines rendered unable to pay foreign suppliers.
“Fundamentally, I would like to state that the mining industry is poised to become a US$12 billion industry by 2023 and you may be aware that in 2017, revenues were around US$2,4 billion. Last year, we did about US$3,4 billion. In 2019, we are projecting about US$4 billion and we are getting to US$12 billion by 2023. All the milestones to achieve that are all in place,” Chitando said.
Foreign investor interest in Zimbabwe has been on the increase, although economic and political struggles have seemingly lessened investor confidence.
The Chamber of Mines said that Zimbabwe will require up to US$11 billion to work on its mines, modernising them and allowing them to produce to the maximum capacity over the coming five years.
Chitando added that the diamond sector would also likely contribute more in terms of revenue generation.
He said: “We are putting up by the end of this year what we call a Diamond Value Management Centre. This centre will have the latest technology for cleaning and sorting the diamonds because you get higher value for diamond by better cleaning, so we would then put the latest technology and then we get higher value from the cleaning processes.”
The government has projected large growth in diamond output for 2019 – specifically 4.1 million carats by year-end. This would mark a significant increase from 1.7 million carats produced in 2018.