Zimbabwe’s mineral output in the quarter to March 31, 2021 plunged due to unstable power supply, heavy rains which flooded mining shafts, working capital challenges and subdued demand for minerals, a Treasury report shows.
Gold plunged 29% to 4.311kg in the reviewed period from 6.152kg reported in the corresponding prior period last year.
“The decline was mainly on account of a fall in production from the artisanal and small-scale gold sector.
Large scale producers delivered about 2.291 kg during the first quarter of 2021, 11.2% higher than what was produced during the same period in 2020, while artisanal and small-scale gold sector delivered 1.586 kg, about 55.6% below the production of the same period in 2020, reflecting leakages through smuggling,” the report said.
Platinum output declined 5% to 3.369kg, from 3. 544kg produced during the same period in 2020.
Nickel output declined 17% to 3.284 tonnes during the reviewed period from 3.936kg in the prior comparative period.
The reduced output reflected the low throughput from both the primary and secondary producers.
Output from primary producers declined 25% compared to the same period in 2020. This was also 44% lower than the preceding 4th quarter of 2020.
The plunge in output for the quarter was partly a result of production stoppage at Bindura Nickel Corporation as the company had to facilitate the Trojan Mine shaft re deepening project.
The shaft re-deepening project is expected to massively increase the nickel output as the mine will be able to quickly extract at least 60 000 tonnes per month thereby firing up financial and operational performance.
Chrome also declined to 300.926 tonnes from 353.669 tonnes reported in 2020.