The effects of the coronavirus induced lockdown on Zimbabwe’s all important mining sector are now becoming apparent. There was a drop in gold as well as other mineral exports during the first quarter of the year. Data published by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) shows that there were marginal in gold and other exports during the first four months of this year.

  • Gold fell 7% to US$289 million
  • Nickel ores and concentrates fell by shokcing 32% to US$102 million.
  • Ferrochromium fell by 24% to US$59m,
  • Chromium ore fell by 27% to US$13m,
  • bituminous coal by 21% to US$1,2 million,
  • refined copper by 12% to US$517 383.

Not all bad news

It was not all bad news however as some mineral exports actually increased. The following increases were recorded:

  • Nickel mattes US$267 million,
  • Diamonds (US$43m),
  • Unwrought platinum (US$18m),
  • Granite (US$5,8m),
  • Gypsum and anhydrite (US$85 377)
  • Niobium and tantalum US$996 745

What’s the big deal?

Minerals are an important source of foreign currency to Zimbabwe. Forex shortages have caused a lot of problems in the economy with inflation soaring to above 750% according to the government’s own figures. A fall in mineral exports spells trouble for a country that heavily relies on imports.