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Mining sector key to economic recovery: Mnangagwa

“Government will continue to facilitate the acquisition and use of appropriate modern, efficient and adaptable technologies by our small scale miners to increase efficiency and output, especially in gold production.”

By Business Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the mining sector is a key component to the country’s economic recovery efforts as can be evidenced by the output that has been realised so far.

Addressing the first session of the 9th parliament of Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa acknowledged immense contribution from the mining sector which has emerged as one of the fundamental pillars on which economic recovery is leaning on.

“The mining sector remains yet another key component of our economic recovery programme,” said President Mnangagwa.

Earlier this year, Mines and Mining Development ministry projected a 70 percent contribution of the mining sector towards the country’s foreign currency earnings, with at least 13 percent contribution towards gross domestic product (GDP).

Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (COMZ) in May this year predicted the sector to generate $3.7 billion from various mineral exploits.

The mining industry predicts a boom and is expected to reach $11billion by 2022 and $18 billion by 2030, time which government has pegged Zimbabwe to have reached middle class economy status.

“The production performance of gold, platinum and chrome sub- sectors are encouraging,” noted the President.

Economic analysts have predicted that Zimbabwean gold production output has potential to reach 100 tonnes per annum if the vast ores are fully exploited, with an output of 30 tonnes expected by end of 2018.

Zimbabwe is the world’s second largest producer of Platinum, after the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, with an estimate of 2.8 billion tonnes lounging on the 550 kilometre stretch of the mineral rich Great Dyke.

According to statistics from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) in March 2018, chrome ore volumes recorded an upward trajectory to 122 010 metric tonnes in 2017 from  63 394 metric tonnes  in 2016, a 92 percent increase in output, a development which could see Zimbabwe becoming major producer of high-grade chrome ore in the near future.

Zimbabwe has the second largest, high grade chromium ores in the world after South Africa with reserves of approximately 10 billion tonnes.

President Mnangagwa said his government is determined to resuscitate closed mines  and promote exploration of other minerals in Zimbabwe.

“My administration will facilitate further revival of the sector and broaden the range of minerals exploited,” he said.

Zimbabwe has a huge and highly diversified mineral resource base, whose untapped mineral wealth is estimated to be over $30 trillion. The country is endowed with over 40 economic minerals and metals, 40% of which have been mined commercially.

“Government will continue to facilitate the acquisition and use of appropriate modern, efficient and adaptable technologies by our small scale miners to increase efficiency and output, especially in gold production,” said President Mnangagwa.

Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) recently developed and unveiled a cost-effective milling machine aimed at providing solutions to artisanal gold miners.

In an interview during the just ended Harare Agricultural Show, Ruvimbo Chihota, a Metallurgical Engineer by profession, who is also the Technical Sales Representative for the Metallurgical Research Institute for SIRDC said, ‘This technology, for example, the stem mill, they were getting it for around $17 000. We have brought them a solution worth $2 500 which means we have made it possible for miners to be able to process their gold at source and become more productive. This means miners can save up to $14 000.’

President Mnangagwa also mentioned the significance of investing in lithium and coal bed methane saying, “We must take full advantage of our country’s lithium and Coal Bed Methane reserves to seek cooperation and investment and become a centre for research, development and the manufacturing of green energy solutions.”

In May this year, government signed a $700 million deal with an investor towards the development of a coal-bed methane site. ENDS//

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