Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 June 2010 – Zimbabwe exported minerals valued at almost US$1 billion (R7.5 billion) in the first five months of the year, and the country’s Chamber of Mines says it could double its gold production in the next five years.
Quoting mines minister Obert Mpofu, The Herald daily newspaper reports that the country’s export performance shows that projections of 40% growth in the mining industry this year are possible. Platinum group metals and gold accounted for most of the increase in value, according to the Herald.
Mining contributes 16% to Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines says the country could more than double gold production to 20 tonnes a year in two to five years if there is increased exploration and investment in the mining sector.
Gold production is expected at 7 tonnes this year after plunging to a record low of 3 tonnes in 2008 at the height of the economic and political crisis.
Chamber president Victor Gapare said gold output could hit 50 tonnes in 10 to 15 years if higher prices continued to hold and more investment was channelled to the sector.
“We believe our short-to-medium term capacity is around 20 tonnes per year,” Gapare added.
“The low gold output is not because of mineral depletion, but rather under-investment in exploration and production facilities,” he said.