Gold, nickel, copper and zinc are seen as major sources of value for investors in Africa and the world in the medium to long term. This should be good news to Zimbabwe’s resource-based economy whose future growth is underpinned by mining, agriculture, tourism and policy stability.
Zimbabwe is among the major gold producers in the world with the yellow metal being a top foreign currency earner, raking in close to $11 billion in gold exports between 1980 and 2016.
Zimbabwe, according to central bank governor John Mangudya, is believed to have the second largest gold reserves per square kilometre in the whole world with 13 million tonnes of gold, proven, underground but since 1980 the country has only managed to mine 580 tonnes.
In 2016 the country produced 21,4 tonnes of gold.
Gold, in particular, is seen as a major store of value to compete with bonds and stocks, World Gold Council (WGC) chief market strategist John Reade, told the 2018 Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town yesterday.
“We want to make gold mainstream and by this I mean institutional and asset managers around the world to be thinking not just in terms of equities and bonds but also gold,” he said as he delivered a concise gold market overview titled “Why gold and why now?”
Mr Reade said gold has outperformed all fiat currencies that are in existence, making it an ideal asset.
“Gold has delivered positive return and outperformed key asset classes,” he said.
The WGC executive also said the yellow metal performs well in both periods of high and low inflation with returns of between 3 and 8 percent.
He said gold remains a diversifiable portfolio that works well when there is need to diversify and can significantly improve risk-adjusted portfolio returns.
As real US dollar returns declined over the years, gold prices have gone up to yield better returns.
WGC is the market developer for the gold industry and has 23 members, 500 projects on over 100 productive mines in about 45 countries.
Speaking on strategies for long term shareholder value, Vedanta Resources group chairman Anil Agarwal and Blackrock chief investment officer for natural resources and managing director Evy Hambro said copper, nickel and zinc remain a sound investment in the foreseeable future.
“Zinc is number one, it is doing very well, aluminium too and even copper,” Mr Agarwal said when asked to give his outlook on resource performance.
Hambro said his organisation tries to focus more on the theme in respect of resource management and value creation, for instance, and less on specific resources. However, he eventually indicated strong potential for zinc and copper.
“We do like the outlook for copper, for zinc, there is a lot of demand for battery materials, these commodities have a huge demand growth,” Mr Hambro said,
Hambro however said most mining companies are not investing in growth.