Mining sector's contribution to government revenues declines

Zimbabwe's Minister of Mones and Mining Development Obert Mpofu said the country's mining sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is projected to grow by 15,8% this year from 13% last year maintaining its position as the country's fastest growing sector and boosting the projected 9,4% economic growth in 2012.

Mpofu said Zimbabwe's mineral exports had seen a fairytale rise rebounding by 138% in 2010 growing by 38,7% in 2011 and projections for 2012 stand at 13,3%.

"In terms of earnings, minerals exports surged in 2011 to US$2,45 billion from US$1,6 billion in 2010 driven mainly by increased platinum, gold diamond production and buoyed by booming international prices," Mpofu said.

Zimbabwe is said to have the world's second biggest platinum reserves after South Africa. The top two global producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, have operations in the country but currently send platinum concentrate to South African refineries for processing.

The government has been pressing the miners to process the minerals locally, but the companies say current production is insufficient to sustain a viable refinery.

Mpofu also the mining sector's overall contribution to government revenues has been declining even with the discovery of diamonds in the eastern Manicaland province.

"The mining sector used to contribute US$54 million into treasury from diamonds but can no longer do so because we are not processing them locally.

We are now contributing about half of the amount. Those who imposed sanction on us are benefitting more," he said.

The government has since increased by up to 5,000 percent a raft of mining fees and levies with officials insisting the review was necessary to increase state revenues.

In addition, authorities have also been pressing the mining industry to comply with the country's empowerment legislation which is aimed at giving the previously marginalised black majority control of the economy.

Post published in: Business

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