Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources and produces more than 40 types of metals and minerals. About 40% of the country's foreign exchange is earned from the export of these metals and minerals, accounting for 5% of total employment and 7% of GDP
Gold belts run along sources of nickel, asbestos, iron ore and pyrites production and contain reserves of antimony, tungsten, corundum and limestone. The world's third largest source of platinum group metals and significant reserves of nickel are found in an area known as the Great Dyke.
Coal is one of Zimbabwe's primary energy sources. High quality coal deposits occur in Hwange, parts of North Matabeleland, the Zambezi vally and in the south east. The Makonde basin in the north west of Zimbabwe, contains the country's copper and graphite mines as well as reserves of lead, zinc and silver.
In recent years diamonds have become the most popular target mineral, following a survey which revealed several potential diamond areas.
Infrastructure to support the industry includes a well maintained system of paved roads, railway links, electricity grid and many industries manufacturing a wide range of mining inputs. Manpower training is carried out at the Zimbabwe School of Mines and University of Zimbabwe which offers many related degrees. To encourage the development of the mining industry, government offers free geological, metallurgical and advisory services to those mines which do not have their own expertise.
A few major mining groups produce the bulk of Zimbabwe's mineral output. Hundreds of other smaller mines provide the remainder. The future of the industry is assured given the extensive reserves of chrysolite, asbestos, chromite, iron ore, lithium ore and coal.
1996 Figures [Back to map]
Production by Volume ('000s) Production by Value (Z$) Gold 792 3,057.3 Nickel 9.7 634 Coal 5,176 648.2 Asbestos 165.6 716.5 Copper 8.9 177.3 Chrome Ore 658 189.6 Iron Ore 324 71.4 Silver 320 16.3