Business Review Writers
Zimbabwe’s diamond production reached 1, 34 million carats, recording a 7, 7% increase in just four months, latest data from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has shown.
The central bank’s figures show that despite general public perceptions on the low output of the mineral, there is still high output of the precious stone.
“Diamond output stood at 1,34million carats in the fourth quarter of 2021, up by 7, 7%, from the third quarter output of 1, 24 million carats. Compared to the same quarter in 2020, diamond output in the quarter under review was higher by 129%,” said the RBZ.
The central bank attributed the increase of diamonds production largely to increased activities at one of the major mining houses, which saw output surging by 331%, compared to the same period in 2020 and investments in efficient plant and machinery that improved recoveries, coupled with mine development during the first half of the year, also boosted production.
The lucrative output comes against a backdrop where the former Chiadzwa inhabitants who were relocated to Arda Transau to pave way for the mining of the precious gems, continue to live in abject poverty with the mining companies not passing down the proceeds accordingly.
Meanwhile, the central bank’s report also shows that in the final quarter of 2021, the country managed to produce 288 671 tonnes of chrome representing a 40% decline from the output produced in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter output of chrome was also 7, 3% lower than the output produced in the comparable quarter in 2020.
The mining industry’s productivity during the period was weighed down by the decline in the output of chrome, nickel and palladium.
Total gold output stood at 11 178, 17 kg, a 132% increase from 9,422.6 kg produced in the third quarter.
“This was largely on account of the more than anticipated increase in deliveries from the artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM).
“During the period nickel output increased by 1,3%, from 4 022.13 tonnes in the third quarter to 4 075,65 tonnes,” added RBZ.
Government has set a target for the mining sector, currently contributing about 70 % of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to achieve a US12 billion industry by 2023 and has put in place a roadmap to rump up support to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s economy.