Mineral exports reach US$2,5bn
Zimbabwe exported minerals, excluding gold and silver, valued at US$2,5 billion in the nine months to September 2021, the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says.
MMCZ said the overall revenue inflows could reach US$3,2 billion this year, after surpassing the target that had been set for the eight months to August 2021.
MMCZ general manager Tongai Muzenda said in an interview, revenue from mining totalled US$2,5 billion in the period January to September 2021, against a US$1,6 billion target.
“As a nation, we have done relatively well on mineral sales. Up to the end of September we have sold US$2,5 billion worth of minerals. Obviously, that’s excluding gold and silver.
“That is against a budget of US$1,6 billion, which means we are close to US$1 billion above budget and this is attributable mostly to good prices, not necessarily volumes, but quality of exports,” Muzenda said.
Total export revenue was US$1,4 billion in the same period in 2020. Inflows this year are 87 percent better than last year’s receipts, for the same period, and 58 percent ahead of this year’s target of US$1,6 billion.
Muzenda continued, “The game changer has been the sector walking the talk on value-addition and we have seen some mining companies really going into value- addition.
“Whether it’s PGMs or chrome, there is a lot of smelting, and in granite there is cutting and polishing happening and we will continue to encourage that.
“It is actually part of the mandate of the MMCZ to encourage value-addition. So, it’s not new, but we are enhancing it and there is more support and push from the top that we should go into value-addition.”
Largely driven by increased volumes in smelting, platinum group metals contributed more than 50 percent of total sales, making it the biggest contributor.
“There are also other minerals which are doing well including ferrochrome and coke, among others. But for almost all minerals, prices are going up. I don’t know what gold will be like, but I reckon it could be as high as US$2 billion.
“If we do that, we would have done US$5 billion and our dream by 2023 is to get to US$12 billion and we are on the right path. I strongly believe at some point in time we will get the US$12 billion,” Muzenda said.
The MMCZ CEO said if Zimbabwe missed the 2023 target, it had a good chance of reaching the target a year later. He said the country would continue to take advantage of strong global prices.
Muzenda said the international demand for minerals was “very good” and Zimbabwe should continue on the value-addition path for maximum benefit.
He threw his weight behind the Government’s decision to ban all exports of chrome ore and chrome concentrates from July 2022 in order to secure the ferro-chrome industry, which he said was integral to the country’s attainment of the envisioned US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
He said value-addition helped to create and preserve local employment.