obert mpofu 16-11-10.jpgMines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu says gold production is likely to reach 30 tonnes this year owing to the liberalisation of the trading of the precious metal.

Briefing journalists in the capital on the state of the mining sector, Cde Mpofu said in 2009, gold production had hit an all time low of two tonnes annually which saw the country losing its position in the bullion exchange.

Cde Mpofu indicated that for the past two years, the mining sector has been performing highly adding that this year production is likely to reach 30 tonnes owing to improved operating environment and strengthening of prices on the international market.

Meanwhile, Minister Mpofu said government is now awaiting the final report on the monitors’ findings in diamond mining operations in Chiadzwa.

Mining has become the major economic driver earning US$1.3 billion last year from US$510 million in the previous year making 154% increase.

The sector which employs 45 000 people with downstream industries employing a further 15 000 last year contributed 65% of the country’s total export earnings.