The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) Marketing Manager Ottilia Furusa has said that the general mineral outlook is not bright given the fact that most commodities are not doing very well on the international market. Furusa was presenting on commodity and mineral prices outlook in Harare today.
Furusa says this as the diamond production in Zimbabwe fell by 6 percent in the first quarter of the year.
“Most companies are operating just above break-even-point,” said Furusa.
The break-even point refers to the revenues needed to cover a company’s total amount of fixed and variable expenses during a specified period of time.
The total diamond output stood at 567 024 carats, 6 percent lower than 603 590 carats produced in the comparable period of 2016 according to the Daily News.
During the outlook presentation, Furusa said that the increase in prices is set to continue this year owing to a rise in demand for ferrochrome by Chinese stainless steel companies.
The Marketing Manager said the demand for Platinum Group Metals (PMGs) appear robust as developments in the investment market witnessed an increase in demand for platinum bars as a way of storing values.
“Strong economic recovery of target markets since 2009 depression in the USA, EU (France & Germany, Spain, Poland ) has resulted in stable and growing demand for both raw and cut granite,” said Furusa.
“Recent market developments have shown that the market for coal was still strong as coal still makes up 29% of global primary energy and 41% of global electricity.”
The mining sector is a key driver to sustainable economic development contributing to about 10% to Gross Domestic Product according to the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion February 2017 economic outlook.
The sector continues to face acute capital shortages and delays in procurement of critical inputs.and this is compounded by the fact that most of the minerals are exported in raw form.