Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 August 2010 – Zimbabwe “’ the beleaguered country which suffer ongoing economic degeneration in recent years under President Robert Mugabe “’ is now on course to double last year’s gold output, despite regular disruptions of electricity supplies.
Revealing this in a statement issued here, the country’s chamber of mines said Zimbabwe had produced 4.03 tonnes of gold in the first half of 2010. Gold production had plunged to a record low of 3 tonnes in 2008 as mines choked from inflation as well as acute foreign currency and electricity shortages.
Last year saw a marginal improvement to 4.9 tonnes.
The power-sharing government set up by bitter rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last year dumped a worthless local currency for multiple foreign currencies, taming hyperinflation and stabilising the economy.
Since then most mothballed mines have come back into production and the Chamber of Mines said this year’s gold output could be higher than the initially projected 7 tonnes.
“The country produced 4.03 tonnes between January and June, and based on six months’ production, current projection for the year is 8.047 tonnes,” the chamber added in its statement.
At its peak, Zimbabwe produced 27 tonnes of gold in 1999.
A production target of 20tpa over the next five years has been set by the chamber, but it said this could be held back by frequent power cuts and the government’s empowerment laws, which seek to transfer control of foreign-owned firms to local blacks.