Zimbabwe's mineral exports, excluding gold and silver, for the year 2020 surged by 27 percent, earning the country US$2,4 billion, the Minerals and Marketing Authority of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) has said.
"Up to December 2020, we managed to surpass target; we had a total sales value of US$2,4 billion against a budget of US$1,86 billion," MMCZ general manager said in an interview.
"We have done relatively well. We are 29 percent above budget for this year and compared to 2019 we are 27 percent better off."
This sets Zimbabwe on course of achieving a US$12 billion mining economy in the next two years, said Mr Muzenda.
The mining sector is Zimbabwe's largest foreign currency earner, accounting for 70 percent of the country export receipts.
In 2019, the Government launched a roadmap to grow the mining sector to US$12 billion by 2023 through leveraging on the country's diverse mineral wealth.
The mining roadmap, also known as "Strategic Road to the Achievement of US$12 billion by 2023" targets gold revenue at US$4 billion, platinum group metals at US$3 billion, chrome, iron, steel diamonds and at US$1 billion, lithium at US$500 million, while other minerals are expected to contribute US$1,5 billion.
The Government, in partnership with foreign investors has made significant strides in propelling the mining industry with over US$1 billion expected to be invested in existing and new mines. The Government holds 65 percent in Kuvimba Mining House, a company it jointly owns with foreign investors.
Kuvimba already has interests in mining assets, including gold, chrome, nickel, gemstone, platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome.
It wholly controls gold mines Freda Rebecca and Shamva. It has a 85 percent stake in Jena Gold Mine, 74 percent in Bindura Nickel Corporation and 47,8 percent in a multibillion-dollar platinum project, Great Dyke Investments. The group is reportedly mulling buying ZimAlloys and Sandawana Mine.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube recently said the bigger role being assumed by the Government, following the establishment of Kuvimba Mining House was to ensure that the country achieve the US$12 billion target.
A number of private investments are also in the pipeline in coal, diamonds, lithium, platinum and chrome sectors, which would help the country meet the target.
Going forward, Mr Muzenda said the prospects for 2021 "look even brighter" as the country add value to its minerals.
"This year, we will continue to focus on value addition of all products," said Mr Muzenda. "We also want to see numbers going up on gemstones; we want to see people getting value from their gemstones," he said.