Photo: Reuters

HARARE – Zimbabbwe's mining sector was subdued in the first quarter due to a severe dollar crunch that affected production, with the gold sector being the worst hit, the mining chamber said on Wednesday. 

The chamber further said that some bullion miners had experienced recently introduced power cuts. 

Mining generates most of the export earnings for the nation, which faces a severe shortage of dollars that has led to a scarcity of fuel and medicines. Isaac Kwesu, the chief executive of the Chamber of Mines. The Chamber of Mines represents large mining companies, said mines in the first quarter to March faced delays in getting their dollar payments from the central bank. 

Gold and platinum mines are paid dollars for half of their output, while the balance is paid in the local RTGS dollar. Payment times had been reduced from 12 to 2 weeks, Kwesu said, but they want it weekly.