HARARE, July 28 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s mineral earnings are up nine percent to $806 million in the six months to June, driven by an increase in gold and platinum production which earned three quarters of total revenue, statistics from the mining chamber have shown.
Platinum production was up 43 percent to 7,9 tonnes with Zimplats, the biggest platinum mine in the country, accounting for 62 percent of total output while Unki and Mimosa contributed 23, 4 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively.
Gold production during the half under review registered a 17 percent increase to 10,3 tonnes, buoyed by an increase in output from small-scale producers. Small-scale miners delivered 3,7 tonnes, up from 2,8 tonnes last year while big miners raised output by seven percent to 5,7 tonnes.
Earnings from platinum and gold amounted to $613 million, which translates to 76 percent of total mineral earnings.
Average gold prices at $1,219 per ounce were up marginally compared to $1,206/oz during the same period last year while platinum prices at $958 per ounce were 18 percent lower than $1,161/oz achieved last year.
Nickel earnings were down 26 percent to $58 million despite a 15 percent increase in production to 9,000 tonnes. Prices declined by 37 percent during the period, averaging $8,600 per tonne compared to $13 700 per tonne last year.
BNC, the primary producer of Nickel contributed 37 percent of total output while the rest came from platinum producers.