Gold up, nickel down

HARARE - Gold production at Renco Mine increased by 87% in the fourth quarter of 2006, while Empress Nickel Refinery production went down to 1 430 tonnes from 1 526 tonnes over the same period.
According figures released by RioZim on Friday, gold output at Renco for the 2006 fourth quarter margin

ally increased to 7 876 ounces from 4 115 ounces.
For the period under review, Murowa Diamonds Zimbabwe produced gems amounting to 50 369 carats, down from 56 660 carats that were recovered during the corresponding period in the previous year.  This brings to 240 026 carats the total output in 2006. In 2005, the mine produced 251 152 carats.
Production at Sengwa Coal Mine in Gokwe was at 70 257 tonnes for the fourth quarter of the year. Since production at Sengwa resumed during the fourth quarter of 2005, Output has been on a steady increase. 
When production commenced, a total of 25 120 tonnes was produced during the final quarter of 2005 and went up to 41 102 tonnes and 47 417 tonnes for the first and second quarter of 2006, rising further to 221 730 by year end.  RioZim has already announced that it has secured an investor with a view to increase production at the mine, which it operates in partnership with Beta Coal, a subsidiary of Beta Holdings. – Business reporter
Property prices surge
HARARE – The property market is expected to experience increased activity during the first quarter of the year, spurred by investors seeking to hedge against rising inflation and the Reserve Bank governor ruling out the anticipated devaluation.
Inflation surged to 1 281,1% for the month of December.  Ideal Properties director, Gary Shilton, said the rate at which prices were rising might force owners to hold on to their assets as a cover against inflation.
Those seeking to hedge themselves against spiralling inflation would push demand for properties.
“Properties have become the safest form of investment as a hedge against inflation in Zimbabwe. As such property prices will continue to be pegged in line with the prevailing inflation rate,” said Shilton. 
“Over the past year we have seen property prices increasing four times. The increases witnessed were not due to an increase in demand over supply in the market but due to sellers increasing the selling prices in line with inflation to ensure that they are not losing in real terms,” said Shilton. – Business reporter

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