Agriculture and Mining key drivers for economic growth in Zimbabwe in 2017
Agriculture and mining have been identified as key drivers for the overall economic growth of Zimbabwe in 2017, say business executives and economists.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa identified that economic growth in Zimbabwe is expected to be around 1.7 percent in 2017, a significant increase from the 0.6 percent of 2016.
“Agriculture and mining are to driver overall growth, with sector growth of 123 eprcent and 0.9 percent respectively in 2017,” he said.
Zimbabwe is currently facing “strong headwinds” with regards to its current financial climate, though a focus on long term prospects and investments in the agriculture and mining sectors have allowed corporates to earmark boosted operations and a growth in productivity.
Two companies that have been identified as key players in 2017 are Impala Platinum and Bindura Nickel Corp (BNC).
Impala Platinum has two main operations across the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe through Zimplats and Mimosa. Zimplats is 87 percent owned by Implats and has four underground mines and a concentrator at Ngezi. Mimosa has reserves of around 1 million ounces of platinum with a production scale of 117,400 ounces per annum.
Through Zimplats, a joint venture with Aquarius, Impala has a shallow underground mine on the Zimbabwean Great Dyke close to Bulawayo. There are reserves of around 3.9 million ounces of platinum, with a production scale of 190,000 ounces of platinum.
Bindura Nickel Corporation
Bindura Nickel Corporation is 75.4 percent owned by Mwana Africa and has been listed on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange since 1971.
The company owns and operates the Shangani and Trojan nickel mines, which have hoisting and treatment capacity of 1.0Mt and 1.1Mt a year respectively.
Shangani remains on care and maintenance. BNC also owns the large Hunters Road nickel deposit which is a pre-development nickel project.
BNC also owns the Bindura Smelter and Refinery complex which is being re-opened to produce high quality nickel cathodes, copper sulphide and cobalt hydroxide. Alongside material from the Trojan and Shangani mines, the plant has toll treated nickel concentrates and nickel matte from third parties to utilise spare capacity. Current smelter capacity is 17,000tpa and for the refinery 14,500tpa. Construction of an oxygen injection plant was completed in 2008.
BNC also owns the large Hunters Road nickel deposit which is a pre-development nickel project.
Batirai Manhando, Managing Director of Bindura Nickel Corporation, says the company is expecting to complete the smelter project in the next financial year.
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Copper, iron ore surge as Chinese investors unleash demand
The reopening of major industrial economies is sparking a surge across commodities markets from corn to lumber, with tin climbing above $30,000 a tonne for the first time since 2011 on Thursday.
In the wake of mounting evidence of inflation fuelled by higher raw materials prices, investors are also increasingly focused on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might start throttling back its emergency support.
Many banks say the rally has further to run, particularly for copper, which will benefit from rising investment in new energy sectors. Copper is at the highest in a decade, fueling bets it will rally further to take out the record set in February 2011. Steel demand is surging as economies chart a path back to growth just as the world’s biggest miners have been hampered by operational issues, tightening ore supply.
“The long-term prospects for metals prices are ‘too good’ and point to higher prices in the next few years,” said Commerzbank AG analyst Daniel Briesemann. “The decarbonization trends in many countries, which include switching to electric vehicles and expanding wind and solar power, are likely to generate additional demand for metals.”
Trading house Trafigura Group and several major Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. expect copper to extend gains.
Copper rose as much as 1.6% to $10,108.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $10,080 as of 4:07 p.m. in London.
Benchmark spot iron ore prices rose to a record, while futures in Singapore and China climbed.
The boom comes as China’s steelmakers keep output rates above 1 billion tons a year, despite a swath of production curbs aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reining in supply. Instead, those measures have boosted steel prices and profitability at mills, allowing them to better accommodate higher iron ore costs.
Spot iron ore with 62% content hit $201.15 a ton on Thursday, according to Mysteel. Futures in Singapore jumped as much as 5.1% to $196.40 a ton, the highest since contracts were launched in 2013. In Dalian, prices closed 8.8% higher.
Erik Hedborg, Principal Analyst, Steel at CRU Group commented: “Recent production cuts in Tangshan have boosted demand for higher-quality ore and prompted mills to build iron ore inventories as their margins are on the rise. Iron ore producers are enjoying exceptionally high margins as well, around two thirds of seaborne supply only require prices of $50 /dmt to break even.”
Still, some analysts including Commerzbank’s Briesemann expect a short-term correction as metals become detached from fundamentals. There’s also a risk that China could engage in policies that may cool demand for iron ore and copper.
The metals rally has boosted concerns about short-term Chinese demand. Some manufacturers and end-users have been slowing production or pushing back delivery times after costs surged, while weaker-than-expected domestic consumption has opened the arbitrage window for exports.
Tin climbed as much as 2% to $30,280 a ton on the LME, boosted by rising orders for the soldering metal. Tin is at the highest since May 2011, with a 48% gain this year making it the best performing metal on the LME.