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Zimbabwe's chrome ouptut projected to fall to 622 878 tonnes in 2012


Zimbabwe’s chrome output is projected to fall to 622,878 tonnes in 2012 from an estimated 700,000 tonnes in 2011, the latest statistics by the Chamber of Mines show.

Zimbabwe produced 516,776 tonnes of chrome in 2010 and last November government forecast that output would rise to 750,000 tonnes this year.

The chamber of mines did not give a reason for the projected fall in output for chrome in its 2012 first quarter mineral production statistics.

But miners have complained about the impact of power outages, lack of capital and an ore export ban reinstated by the government in April 2010 to force companies to beneficiate locally.

In the first quarter of 2012, Zimbabwe produced 155,718 tonnes of chrome.

The chamber said it expects nickel production at 8,208 tonnes from 7,700 tonnes produced in 2011.

Platinum is projected to be 10,902 kg and palladium 8,447 kg.

Nickel production could rise should Mwana Africa’s Bindura Nickel Corp resume production in July.

Zimbabwe is also expected to produce 6,928 tonnes of copper and 192 tonnes of cobalt, which are by-products of platinum group mining.

Output for gold is expected at 13,979 ounces bfrom 13,000 ounces produced in 2011.

Gold exports earned the country $187.9 million during the first three months and platinum $121 million while chrome exports totalled $53.2 million during the quarter.

The chamber said that total mineral revenue during the quarter rose by 10.4% to $458.4 million.

Zimbabwe’s mining sector is suffering from inadequate power supplies, lack of capital and uncertainty over the country’s 51% local ownership law.

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