Zim feels pinch of slowing Chinese economy, says to ramp up mineral production to counter weak prices

Zim feels pinch of slowing Chinese economy, says to ramp up mineral production to counter weak prices

By Kuda Chideme, HARARE, September 7 (The Source) – Zimbabwe says the slowdown in China’s economy is affecting its recovery efforts and that it intends to ramp up mineral production to cushion the country against falling commodity prices and softening demand from the Asian giant.

China has been the biggest consumer of Zimbabwe’s  mineral and agricultural commodities but a slowdown in its economy has seen reduced demand, pushing prices lower with the effects being felt across all commodity export reliant nations.

“As a counter measure we are trying to ramp up volumes to make up for the loss of prices and we hope that strategy will work. Where we are losing on price we will be able to compensate by selling more volumes if the market remains so,” Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told journalists at a press with visiting International Monetary Fund Alternate Executive Director, Africa Group One Constituency, Chileshe Kapwepwe.

Zimbabwe’s mining sector is this year expected to grow by 3.5 percent from an initial projection of 3.1 percent despite poor metal prices.

Gold production in the southern African nation is seen at 17,500 kilogrammes this year from 13,900kg last year while and nickel is expected at 17,000kg.

An increase is also expected in chrome production after government lifted a ban on raw chrome exports with full-year production expected at 500,000 tonnes.

Zimplats the country’s biggest platinum producer has also indicated that it will hike output by almost 50 percent to 280 000 ounces.