6 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Metallon Says High Gold Production Presents Opportunities

Zimbabwe's number one gold producer, Metallon Corporation, says it targets to produce 115 ounces of gold this year, up from 94 000 last year thereby presenting opportunities for local manufacturers to supply equipment needed in the mining sector.

Metallon Corporation is a leading low cost gold mining company with four underground mines locally and exploration properties in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and DRC.

The local mines are How Mine, Mazowe, Redwing and Shamva.

The company's general manager Kimpton Chiwota told business representatives at the on-going 7th Buy Local Summit in Victoria Falls on Thursday that the mining sector is short of equipment supplies which local companies should chip in and supply.

He said there are endless opportunities especially where gold production was 23 tonnes, with Metallon accounting for 13 percent of this.

"We aim 20 percent more than we did last year but the challenge is lack of capital supply locally where the Mining Industry Surveillance report for 2016 showed that 78 percent of capital goods needed in mining are sourced offshore leaving a balance of 22 percent which should come from local producers," said Chiwota,

He said 11 percent of the imports can be produced locally, hence presenting a wide opportunity for local manufacturers of mining equipment as he singled out grinders, crushers and other devices used to reduce ore to manageable components.

Revenue from the mining sector in 2016 amounted to $1.8 billion, 50 percent of which was from gold.

In 2015, gold output accounted for 40 percent of annual revenue of the mining sector.

"Gold mining is a growing industry and there is huge opportunity for increasing local content," Chiwota added.

From the production, $22 million was channelled towards expansion projects in the mining sector with $120 million expected to be used this year, Chiwota said.

He said the sector will need a lot of consumables as well as skills which are currently in short supply.

Metallon Corporation supplies its produce to Fidelity.

The meeting is meant to discuss how local content, a route being driven by Buy Zimbabwe forum, can be used to turn around the economy at a time when some benefits were being realised after enactment of the SI64/16.

The theme is: "Driving industrialisation through local content."

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