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Zimbabwe has far surpassed the US$12 billion mining target, but …

Over 500,000 people living in the Marange community are yet to benefit from diamond sales, a decade after the discovery of diamonds in Chiadzwa.

By Features Reporter – Tuesday 13 April 2021

OPINION – HARARE (Mining Index) – THE US$12 billion mining target set FY2023 is meaningless and feel free to tuck away my comment and save  for future reference.

Zimbabwe’s mining sector is chasing a government target of growing the mining economy to US$12 billion by 2023 up from US$2,7 billion attained in 2017, with the gold sector expected to fuel the ambitious mining sector growth.

The real question is, Where are we today? Have we achieved the target yet? Are we on course or we are lagging behind?

What is wrong with our mining sector?

Wat are the policy gaps that need to be plugged?

Has there been an honest study of Zimbabwe’s mining sector to try and understand what is wrong and how it can be fixed?

How is government dealing with transparency and accountability issues in the mining sector?

I argue that we have far surpassed the US$12 billion mark since it was announced. But because of corruption and mineral leakages, Zimbabwe keep bleeding and unable to account for lost revenue.

The picture above depicts how Africa is losing minerals to other continents. For example, London has a substantial amount of gold stored yet the British do not produce gold in their country. With an estimated 3 trillion gold reserves, Zimbabwe has no gold reserves of its own. The Bank of England, JP Morgan and HSBC are the three largest gold vaults in London. Britain’s central bank is the second largest in the world after the New York Federal Reserve. With vaults spread over two floors, the Bank of England holds three-quarters of the gold in London stored as standard bars weighing 12.4 kg. The British central bank boasts of over 400 000 gold bars in its vaults, with a small amount owned by the Bank itself. The Bank also stores gold for the UK government, other central banks around the world, and the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). HSBC’s subterranean London vault stores over 1000 tonnes of gold.

Zimbabwe is a leaking bucket and if no panacea is put in place, we keep losing our God-given natural resources. The majority of the populace will keep sobering and languishing in poverty.

What we need is serious mineral governance reform.

We have companies mining diamonds in Zimbabwe and there has been secrecy in diamond revenue generated or being generated , leaving people to speculate..

The sorry state of mineral-rich Hwange, a very active mining zone but with absolutely nothing to show for all the pollution going on there.

Talk of Mutoko’s black granite and how tons of the black gold have been illicitly traded with no accountability.

Try to shed light on transparency and accountability issues and you come across as an enemy of the state!

Mining cartels have mushroomed and smuggling of minerals by the ruling elites has reached an all-time high.

We have a government that is not ready to talk about transparency in the mining sector.

Developing a country is not through declarative statements full of political orgasm.

It takes immense sacrifice and seriousness in making right decisions, having a no nonsense approach to corruption like the late Tanzanian President John Magufuli.

In 2011, Zimbabwe got the nod to start exporting diamonds again. The then Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu was all praises about Zimbabwe never going to beg anyone for anything, saying the country was now going to earn US$2 billion annually from diamond revenue.

Over 500,000 people living in the Marange community are yet to benefit from diamond sales, a decade after the discovery of diamonds in Chiadzwa.

Let us just be honest and open with each other. We will never build a first world country with the child’s play happening in our mining sector.

Let us learn to love our country and protect our natural resources from being exploited by economic vultures.

A few privileged individuals and families are becoming multi-millionaires and billionaires but the country is sinking. If you are not seeing this you are not paying attention. ENDS//

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