Taurai Mangudhla Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is targeting to earn upwards of $2 billion in mineral exports excluding gold in 2018, up from the $1,6 billion realised last year, the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) has said.
This amounts to around 6 percent in growth from $1, 67 billion realised in 2017 and is in line with the mining industry’s projected growth rates in the 2018 National Budget, MMCZ acting general manager Masimba Chandavengerwa said in a presentation yesterday.
“This is largely driven by an increase in chrome, both chrome ore and high carbon ferrochrome. We have seen phenomenal growth in those areas and most of the (platinum group of metals) PGMs. We have seen at least a lot of gold there and chrome is coming on board,”Mr Chandavengerwa said
“We are seeing a steady growth in terms of sales and it is our hope that the conference will manage to excite most of you to invest in this sector so that outside gold we hit $2 billion,” he added.
Chrome ore racked in $99 754 000 in 2017, while coal and diamonds fetched $2 211 000 and $84 160 000 respectively. PGMS concentrates accounted for $457 031 000 and PGM matte $499 240 000 in the year under review.
In 2018 coal is projected to bring in $4 455 000 and chrome ore $84 000 000. Diamonds are seen racking in $235 000 000 in 2018.
In terms of chrome ore mining and smelting, MMCZ has got over 1000 hectares of chrome claims in its name which are largely alluvial. MMCZ is open to partnerships and considering setting up its own smelter for the project.
The corporation is also looking to start processing refractory gold ores.
The acting general manager said MMCZ is trying to identify a technical partner to team up for a plant in the Kwekwe for processing refractory gold ores.
The corporation is in a number of beneficiation initiatives in the diamond, granite sector and also set up a company to consolidate chrome ore smelting from small scale miners.