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Zimbabwean mining sector poised for rapid growth

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Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 January 2010 – The Zimbabwean mining sector is poised for rapid growth this year that should see it surpassing the projections of 40% growth made in the country’s 2010 national budget.

Quoting the local Herald newspaper, allAfrica.com reports that anticipated increases in platinum and gold production, and a moderate performance by other minerals, are expected to spur the country’s mining growth. Gold production is expected to grow sharply by 24.6%, while platinum production is set to rise by 1.2%.

The report points out that gold prices have soared from US$700 per ounce in 2007 to a current average of around US$1 100 per ounce. It adds that platinum prices also shot up from just under US$1 000 per ounce in January last year to around US$1 600 by the end of last year, and the price rose last week to US$1 627-38 “’ the best level since 2008.

As a result, says The Herald, the mining sector “’ which was earmarked to contribute 2% to Gross Domestic Product in 2009 “’ is expected to make up 40% of GDP this year.

Chamber of Mines chief executive Chris Hokonya confirmed that 40% growth was attainable, all things being equal.

“Massive investments in platinum have been made already, and we expect that output to increase this year. Nearly all gold mines have opened,” he said. “Given the good prices and the removal of controls on exports, we expect significant increases. We expect growth throughout the sector,” he added.

All the major gold producers in Zimbabwe have targeted growth in output following the introduction of various measures such as the removal of foreign exchange surrender requirements and the full retention of marketing proceeds.

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