A total of 1,5 million metric tonnes of minerals worth US$1,6 billion were sold last year, according to data released by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

The data indicates a 55 percent increase in extractive commodities sold compared to the same period in 2016, where 1,2 million metric tonnes were sold.

The minerals sold however exclude gold that is marketed by the central bank.

The MMCZ data also indicates firming global commodity prices, which had a net positive impact on sales.                              

Chrome dominated volumes and values of the resource commodities, while platinum was on second spot followed by nickel, coal, graphite, manganese, steel and diamonds, among others.                  

Despite improvements in sales and volume of minerals, concern is being raised by market watchers over failure to beneficiate resource commodities.                     

The extraction sector is estimated to being prejudiced of millions of dollars yearly in potential revenues due to unrefined mineral sales and exports.