Mining Industry Development & Outlook

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The stable political and macroeconomic environment that has persisted since 2009 as a result of the signing of the GPA and the adoption of the use of multiple currencies (mostly United States Dollar and South African Rand) has created a conducive environment for business planning and project execution. Zimbabwe's mining sector has thus embarked on a growth path as evidenced by positive growth rates across most minerals (with the exception of granite).

Weighted change 2009 (%)

Weighted change 2010 (%)

Gold (kgs)

9.2

17.0

Diamonds (carats)

-

11.0

Coal (tons)

0.8

0.6

Nickel (tons)

-2.1

2.4

Platinum (kgs)

8.4

10.0

Chrome ore (tons)

-2.0

5.2

Black Granite (tons)

1.1

-0.9

Palladium (kgs)

1.7

0.7

Rhodium (kgs)

1.1

1.0

Others

-

0.3

Industry Growth

17

47

 

Source: Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, 2010

The mining industry in Zimbabwe is expected to continue to grow on the back of firming mineral prices and rising output in 2011. The Minister of Finance forecasts a growth rate of 44% for the mining sector.

 

Industry growth in the medium to long-term, however, depends on the ability to attract investment into current and new projects, as well as investment into key infrastructure fundamental to sustainable development of mining, i.e., power and railroad transportation.

 

A survey carried out by the Chamber of Mines estimates that the mining sector requires between $3-5 billion dollars investment to increase capacity to an average of over 80% within the next three to five years. The table below shows funding requirements by mineral.

Mineral

Minimum Funding Requirement (USD Billions)

Expected Growth in Output by 2015 if Investment is Realized Timeously

Gold

1.00

455%

Platinum Group Metals

1.20

40%

Ferrochrome

0.25

160%

Nickel

0.11

400%

Coal

0.28

218%

Diamonds (Kimberlite only)

0.30

100%

 

 

Clarity on how indigenization and economic empowerment is going to be implemented will be a determinant on how soon investors begin to commit themselves. Undoubtedly, the existing stable political and macroeconomic environment remains a critical ingredient for a conducive investment environment.

 

Zimbabwe remains behind in exploration as the country has not invested in exploration in the last 10 years. The economic challenges of the past decade resulted in the Department of Geological Survey failing to carry out its key role of geological mapping. Indications are that Japan's JOGMEG may provide technical support in the area of remote sensing to identify new possibilities.