Zim gold output seen at 18 tonnes, diamond production down 30pct – Chamber

Zim gold output seen at 18 tonnes, diamond production down 30pct  – Chamber

HARARE, October 14 (The Source) – Zimbabwe will produce over 18 tonnes of gold this year, its highest output in 11 years and a fifth more than last year but diamond production is seen falling nearly a third to 3,360 million carats, a consequence of poor prices and power shortages in the country,  the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday.

Toindepi Muganyi, the chamber’s president told a mining conference that gold output is expected at 18,4 tones, up from 15,3 tonnes last year. In the eight months to August,  Zimbabwe had produced 12,324 tonnes, he said.

Its previous high since 2000 is 21,3 tonnes in 2004 while its all time peak is 29 tonnes in 1999 before plunging to three tonnes in 2008 at the height of an economic and political crisis.

But platinum output is expected lower at 11,8 tonnes from the 12,5 tonnes last year while nickel is projected to fall 7,4 percent to 16,6 tonnes, Muganyi said.

Chrome is seen recording the biggest drop at nearly 50 percent to 210 tonnes from 408 tonnes last year with 140 tonnes produced in the period from January to August.

Coal, at 3,9 million tonnes, is 38 percent lower than the 6,354 million tonnes produced last year. Zimbabwe last week said it will as large mining companies to cut power consumption by up to 25 percent as part of measures to ease crippling shortages.