THE Business Economic Empowerment Forum (BEEF) commends the US$12 billion mining industry strategic roadmap launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently.
Zimbabwe has a vast mineral resource base which remains untapped for gold, lithium, diamonds and Platinum Group of Metals among other minerals
BEEF believes the adoption of modern mining technology is a catalyst to improve operational efficiency.
More so, while the forum notes the vast human resource base in Zimbabwe, there is need for training to equip miners with new strategies for automation, data management, smart and connected technologies for integrating mining processes and equipment.
The roadmap had great potential to turn Zimbabwe into a major exporter in many economic disciplines such as energy and power generation.
Vast coal reserves in Hwange, and the virgin Masvingo and Mbire deposits, if properly extracted coupled with modern thermal power generation infrastructure can make meaningful contribution of thermal power into the national grid.
In May 2014, huge deposits of coal-bed methane gas were reported in Matabeleland North province in Dete, Gwayi, Lupane and Hwange areas, which can be exported and used for the electricity generation.
Sadly, despite the abundant gas reserves, Zimbabwe is importing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or propane gas instead of producing local methane supplies.
The mining target is a great opportunity for Zimbabwe to transform the economy, only if government decisively deals with rampant corruption in the sector.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development must ensure the needs of small scale miners, who have become major producers of gold and chrome, have been addressed.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) must ensure a favourable payment system in all minerals to curb leakages, estimated to be prejudicing the country of US$50 million per month, culminating into US$1.2 billion annually. ENDS