LocalNews

US$11 billion mining investment required

By Business Reporter

GOVERNMENT says US$11 billion worth of investment is required to finance mining projects expected to generate US$20 billion annually over the horizon of Vision 2030.

Indications are that improved investment climate under the new dispensation offer opportunities for acquisition of interests providing low cost entry into mining prospecting, and inflows of private investment funding for mining equipment and machinery.

Presenting the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the diversity of Zimbabwe’s mineral deposit base spans across 60 minerals and metals, making Zimbabwe the place to be for serious mining investor, equipment and service provider.

“With mining greenfield and brownfied projects requiring over US$11 billion in investments, the spotlight on quick wins will be around sustaining current beneficiation initiatives to harness the spinoff benefits to attain incremental value addition contribution to GDP growth.”

“This provides a platform for realising growth in mineral production from annual estimates of US$2 billion per year, by the registered over 800 mines, to cover US$20 billion annually over the horizon of Vision 2030.”

According to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), Zimbabwe remains behind in exploration as the country has not invested in exploration in the last 10 years, with vast opportunities available for investors to explore Zimbabwe’s mineral wealth.

“Mining proceeds present themselves as a necessary shot in the arm to the rest of the economy, with much more potential as mining revenues are ploughed back into the economy to create circular, self-reinforcing inclusive growth,” said Mthuli.

The impact of mining goes beyond mineral exploration, processing and value addition. Mining is linked to many other value chain industries, and is targeted to contribute 70 percent of the country’s export earnings in 2018.

The Transitional Stabilisation Programme is facilitating initiatives by mining houses operating in Zimbabwe to float syndicated bonds offshore, as part of companies’ efforts to raise capital offshore to finance re-tooling of antiquated mines.

“This will initially target US$1 billion with the instrument guaranteed by government as already undertaken by government at the March 2018 investment meeting in London where representatives of several international investment banks and London Stock Exchange officials participated,” said the minister.

Mining beneficiation and value addition of minerals such as platinum, chrome, lithium, nickel, diamond, copper, gold and coal offer immediate scope for income and export generation.

The establishment of diamond cutting and polishing firms will initiate manufacture of diamond jewellery, expected to realise higher export proceeds on beneficiated goods, cushion the economy from effects of price fluctuations, boost domestic job market and enhance opportunities for import substitution as the domestic value chain spreads.

Domestication of value added production where the refinery and smelter plants are set up locally, will enhance beneficiation of raw mining ore across the mining sector. ENDS//

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