In the fiscal year of 2023, Zimbabwe recorded a gold production of 30 metric tons, marking a 15% decline compared to the preceding year. This decrease is attributed to the adverse effects of electricity shortages and currency fluctuations, as revealed by official data released on Monday.
Formerly positioned as one of the leading gold producers in Africa, Zimbabwe has experienced a significant decline in its standing relative to regional counterparts such as Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Tanzania. The prolonged economic crisis has deterred investors, contributing to the country’s diminished status in the gold production landscape.
Zimbabwe, despite its substantial untapped potential, continues to face challenges in attracting investment for its operating mines. The struggle to secure capital is rooted in apprehensions regarding government policies and property rights, particularly in the aftermath of the land seizures targeting white-owned farms at the turn of the century.
Additionally, Zimbabwe grapples with heightened power cuts attributed to the frequent breakdowns of its aging coal-fired plants. Concurrently, electricity generation at the Kariba hydropower station is constrained by persistently low water levels, further exacerbating the energy challenges faced by the country.
The majority of gold production in Zimbabwe emanates from small-scale operators and artisanal miners, constituting a notably fragmented structure devoid of the benefits and efficiencies associated with economies of scale.