Zimbabwe’s mining sector has registered a 75 percent capacity utilisation rate this year compared to 71 percent in 2017 despite operational challenges threatening growth in the long term.

Employment levels in the formal mining industry are now averaging more than 35 000 compared to 30 000 last year with gold, platinum, coal, nickel and diamonds accounting for 95 percent of resource commodities foreign exchange earnings, according to a 2018 Mining Sector Survey Report released in the capital this Monday.

Export receipts for the period January to October at US$3.2 billion also saw the resource extraction industry contributing US$2.2 billion.

Although high costs, power outages, old machinery, limited hard cash, lack of value addition emerged as key challenges, Chamber of Mines President Mr Batirai Manhando revealed the industry will continue to maximise production.

“We are still confident and we shall continue to operate within the country,” he said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya noted that regulatory authorities will also take into consideration the positive contributions from the mining sector by focusing on stabilisation policies.

“We note all you are saying and we shall do our best for you,” Dr Mangudya said.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Cde Winston Chitando who was represented by his deputy Cde Polite Kambamura says there is also need to focus on mining laws that stimulate output, guarantee investors of viable conditions and stamp out alleged underhand dealings in the declaration of mining receipts.

“We take note of what you are doing. There is need to guarantee investors that investing in the mining sector in Zimbabwe is viable,” he said.

The mining sector is next year projected to continue on a positive trajectory due to anticipated favourable global commodity prices.