The Minerals and Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says mineral export volumes for the period January to September 2017 have improved ‘significantly’ compared to same period in 2016 largely driven by increased chrome exports.
According to the MMCZ acting general manager Masimba Chandavengerwa, chrome exports are expected to surpass target buoyed by demand from China.
“In order to maintain the momentum, chrome producers should be facilitated to produce more and invest towards production of high carbon ferrochrome which has high market price,” he said at a media engagement recently.
For the period under review, cumulative chrome exports were 632 293 metric tonnes compared to 196 411 MT in 2016.
Chrome concentrates exports increased 280 percent to 384 857 MT compared to 100 000 MT in 2016 while High Carbon Ferrochrome increased 154 percent to 247 436 MT from 96 094 MT during prior year.
During the 8 month period, Granite, PGM Concentrates, Chrome ore and Nickel also contributed significantly to sales volumes.
However, in terms of value contribution, PGM matte has the highest at about $374 million compared to $332 million same period in 2016.
This was followed by PGM concentrates at $286 million compared to $273 million in prior year same period.
High carbon ferrochrome exports during the period earned $250 million compared to $64 million in 2016.
Chrome concentrates despite high volumes, amounted to $58 million compared to $9 million in prior year while nickel sales for the period reached $33 million from $23 million.
Value of granites sales declined to $21 million from $24 million in prior year.
Chandavengerwa said there are opportunities for Zimbabwe to reopen its asbestos mines, on the strength of a buoyant South East Asian market. He added that local exploration for lithium bearing minerals. –The Source