Despite the treat of the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged business all over the world, the mining sector in Zimbabwe has performed better than expected hauling close to USD2 billion in mineral exports for the period ending 30 September, a figure 24 per cent above-set target, official records have shown.
According to official results released by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) Zimbabwe’s sales for the period ending September stood at US$1, 77 billion, which was 24 per cent above budget.
The Minerals which hauled the USD 1, 77 billion in exports excludes gold and silver which are exported by the country’s only gold and silver buyer and exporter, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) of which gold is considered one of the largest single foreign currency earners for the country.
The strong performance shown by MMCZ marketed minerals brings out a strong statement that economies can still outshine despite the threat of the pandemic in crippling economic growth and development.
The novel coronavirus pandemic forced many countries to close borders, this threatened exports especially of raw materials in industries since many industries world over closed down operations.
The strong showing by the MMCZ marketed minerals is a strong statement of intent against the background of the threat that was posed on the global economy by the crippling novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe has shown that their marketing strategy is effective which managed to produce results in the face of highly restrictive measures adopted by several countries.
MMCZ General Manager Mr Tongai Muzenda reportedly informed The Herald that the Platinum Group of Metals were the biggest contributor of revenues generated during the period under review.
This is as a result of firming global prices of the precious minerals mainly used in the automobile industry. “Our sales for the period ending September stood at US$1, 77 billion, which was 24 per cent above budget,” said Mr Muzenda.
“One of the driving factors for this was the platinum group of metals, which did very well. On the contrary, other minerals like chrome ore and ferrochrome continued to suffer from a depression that has been around for a while now both in prices and volumes,” he said.
Chrome and ferrochrome have of late suffered as a result of stockpiles that have obtained in China, the biggest steel market in the world.
However, the stockpile appears to be receding thus raising hope for increased prices and volumes and Zimbabwe is set to leverage on the impending demand.
Mr Muzenda said in the meantime the MMCZ will continue to strive to make sure the country accrues maximum benefits from its minerals, the majority of them were on high demand on the global market.
Among other strategies, the state marketer will target to promote minerals such as gemstones and manganese.
Teams have already been sent out in areas where such minerals are prevalent and the MMCZ hopes to start seeing positive results on the export book.
Monitoring is also being scaled up to plug leakages, which have for long been identified as the biggest threat to the mining sector.
Under the US$12 billion 2023 mining sector milestone, minerals falling under the MMCZ ambit are expected to contribute US$8 billion in annual exports.
The expectation within the mining industry is that this will be met on the back of increased value addition and mining capacity.
Several mining houses are undertaking different expansion projects to meet the 2023 Government set milestone.