Continental and Regional Mining Sector Analysis and Zimbabwe's Positioning

    The article below has been complied to shed light on the current realities of the mining sector in Africa. It gives a comparative analysis on the markets, West Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa. It later merges the situation on the continent and how Zimbabwe can take advantage.

    The period between 2010-2014 braced the mining sector across the globe with an unprecedented plummeting of metal prices. This has seen gold going down from a remarkable LMB $42/g to an average of $35/g. Base metals have never dined with joy as well as we see the copper, iron ore prices fluctuating. As a reaction to this the stock holders have started disposing their mining shares as it clearly shows signs of bears. New Crest a gold mining company based in Canada also reacted to the market trends as we saw it receiving confirmation from Toronto Stock Exchange with effect from the close of business on the 4th of September 2013 of delisting of its ordinary shares.

    Tracing the industry to West Africa where we have our biggest producers of gold, they also face hard times especially with the hazardous Ebola outbreak. Guinea for an example, while growing at 2.5 percent in 2013, had high expectations for growth resting on its Simandou iron ore project, on to which international investors Chinalco, Rio Tinto, and the International Finance Corporation have signed. However, the iron mining sectors in these countries have been hit both by declining prices and the Ebola outbreak, calling into question the expected profitability of these projects, hurting investor confidence in the region and hindering contributions to future growth.

    Despite International Monetary Fund forecasted that GDP growth in 2014 would amount to 11.3 percent, 5.9 percent and 4.5 percent for Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, respectively. In mid- August, as a result of these factors, the IMF revised these estimates to 8.0 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.4 percent, accordingly.

    The economic effects of the virus have affected a cross section of industries but with the bulk material involved in mining it has been affected the most.