HARARE, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's gold production is expected to increase to 17 tonnes in 2013 as production continues to recover on the back of improved viability, an industry official said on Wednesday.
Chamber of Mines President Alex Mhembere told a mining workshop that gold production, which declined to an all-time low of 4 tonnes in 2008, would climb from 15 tonnes in 2012 to 17 tonnes in 2013. He said the ultimate aim was to ramp up production to peak production levels of 28 tonnes in 1998.
"We are expecting growth in gold production this year, which is an indication of the good job that guys in the gold sector are doing," Mhembere said.
He said similar improvements were expected in most minerals except chrome which is plagued by viability challenges that have been worsened by a two-year ban on raw chrome exports.
Coal was expected to rise from 1.7 million tonnes in 2012 to 2 million tonnes this year while nickel production would increase to 10 million tonnes from 8 million tonnes last year.
Platinum production was expected to expand to 12.5 kg in 2013, up from 10.5 kg the previous year.
Mhembere said diamond production would also rise from last year's 12 million carats, but did not indicate the projected growth figures.
Zimbabwe holds the world's second largest reserves of platinum, one of the world's biggest diamond deposits and significant number of gold, coal, and chrome.