Local

Mbire to explore mineral wealth

Business Reporter

MBIRE Rural District Council (RDC) could be sitting on a vast mineral reserve that could boost the country’s foreign currency earnings if the minerals are fully exploited.

Gold, coal and natural gas have been discovered in the area but no meaningful mining activities are happening to extract the minerals.

In an interview, Mbire RDC Treasurer, Mr. Tariro Chikuni confirmed the developments saying ‘As of now, there isn’t any meaning mining activities despite the district being endowed with a bit of gold, coal and natural gas. A bit of mining is done on the opposite side, extending from Doma along the Hunyani River.’

Mining is a key component to Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners, contributing 8.7% in 2017 to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In recent years, both local and foreign investors have visited Mbire to try and get licences in pursuit of gold.

Chikuni said mining proposals were made to government to ensure mineral exploration is implemented. ‘The fact that there was a commercial miner who came in with a licence from the Ministry of Mines shows that our engagements with government were meaningful,’ he added.
The other was a major company which tried to do mining and left saying the gold available requires sophisticated machinery which they did not have.

Asked about the quantity of gold reserves available in the area, Chikuni said ‘They (commercial company) didn’t quite release that information to us but all they said is they were moving out and they still wanted their claim meaning there is something substantial which they discovered there.’
He however indicated plans are on the cards to establish the mineral worth of the district saying ‘We are still trying to do our geological survey to establish our mineral worthiness then we know whom to target. We have made contact with the ministry of mines and they have given us the green light to go ahead.’

He highlighted the availability of coal reserves in the district saying, ‘Coal is there but we haven’t established the size of the reserves because some boreholes in the area produce blackish water.’
He added that Mbire has been isolated in terms of information. ‘Gold has always been there. Remember Mbire is home to the Mutapa Kingdom. One of the key activities of the Mutapa state was gold mining. ENDS//

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