By Business Reporter – Tuesday 5 March 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – BLACK granite mining and value addition is expected to attract US$20 million worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with a projected annual revenue of US$5 million turning Mutoko into an industrial hub for black granite extraction, cutting, polishing and production of tiles and related granite products.
Having been granted the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status in 2018, the project will see thousands of direct and indirect jobs benefiting the locals.
According to MMCZ, Mutoko District alone contributes approximately 75 percent of Zimbabwe’s total black granite output.
With an annual production of 200 000 MT, only five percent of black granite is being processed locally.
Surewin Investments director Mr Yao highlighted the project will attract FDI to the tune of USD$20 million with an estimated revenue of USD$5 million per annum through local and export sales of value added granite rock products.
The black granite project will contribute greatly towards introducing new technologies and skill, value addition, import substitution and creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the main projects and downstream.
“20 locals are expected to be trained on Mine construction projects during the first year of implementation.”
“Furthermore, the country and its human resource will benefit largely from the transfer of new granite cutting and polishing technologies which will make our granite products competitive on the international market thus increasing value to our natural resource,” said SEZ Chief Executive Officer Edwin Kondo.
Granite mining started in Mutoko in the 1970s, and decades later, no meaningful contribution and employment creation has been done for the villagers, while the state-of the art Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, in Denmark was built with Mutoko black granite.
“The investment will introduce new technologies in granite mining and setting up a manufacturing plant for granite cutting and polishing including production of tiles and related products. Mining of black granite using diamond wire technology and computerised round saw machines,” said Kondo.
Over the years, there has been mounting reports on environmental health, infrastructural damage, land degradation, loss of life and unplanned pregnancies experienced as a result of unethical black granite mining.
Under corporate social responsibility programs, Surewin hasso far donated two computers to Manhemba Primary School, fuel towards seasonal road maintenance for gravel roads of Manhemba Turn off and Mabvuta Village and 100 bags of cement and truck loads of River sand to Manhemba and Nyakabau Primary Schools.
They have also conducted repairs to Nyatato River Bridge, relocated two families that were displaced due to the proximity of their homesteads to the Project site.
Surewin will in the outlook construct access roads, conduct seasonal road maintenance, complete learning blocks at Manemba Primary and Nyakabau Primary School, upgrade local school facilities, construction of at least 20 low income houses for Surewin employees and provide student loans for employees children. ENDS//