mining equipment.jpgThe Chamber of Mines says mineral production in the country has increased significantly in the first half of the year with platinum production increasing by 21% compared to 2010 figures, owing to improved production capacities and a slight improvement in the supply of electricity.

Briefing delegates at the 3rd edition of the Mining Indaba, Chamber of Mines President, Mr Winston Chitando said despite the improvement in production capacity, there are some minerals which have failed to perform according to projections such as asbestos, iron ore and phosphate rock among others.

Mr Chitando said coal production increased by 1,46 million tonnes for the first seven months of the year while it is expected to end the year at 2,5 million tonnes.

Platinum recorded 161 000 ounces in the first half, representing a 21% increase compared to last year’s figures.

Gold production increased by 37% in the first half of the year as compared to 2010 figures.

It is projected to reach 13 000 kilogrammes by the year end.

Despite the improved production capacity in the sector, the mining industry is faced with various challenges ranging from power outages to unavailability of liquidity for expansion.

Meanwhile, the government says it is committed to facilitating a good operating environment for sustainable development of the mining industry through the full implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.

Addressing foreign and local delegates attending the 3rd edition of the Mining Indaba, Mines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Obert Mpofu said government is committed to attracting foreign direct investment.

Cde Mpofu said government has issued 20 special coal mining grants to local firms.

Addressing the same gathering, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said the indigenisation programme seeks to promote strategic partnership between local business people and foreign investors.

The 3rd Mining Indaba is being held under the theme, ‘Building a sustainable mining industry in Zimbabwe, prospects and challenges.’