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$3bn budget too little: Mines ministry

THE Mines ministry has said its 2022 budget allocation of $3 billion was too little for the ministry to make any meaningful contribution to the economy.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated $3 billion to the sector, which contributes approximately US$2 billion annually to the economy.

Mines ministry secretary Onesimo Moyo yesterday called for an increase in the allocation to enable the ministry to execute its duties.

Moyo appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines chaired by Edmond Mkaratigwa to speak on the 2022 allocation to his ministry.

“May the budget allocations be reviewed upwards so that we may be able to fully do our duty as a ministry,” he said.

Government plans a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023. The US$12 billion mining industry represents a 344% increase from the US$2,7 billion registered in 2017. The multi-billion-dollar industry will be driven by gold, platinum, diamond, chrome, iron ore, coal, lithium, and other minerals.

But Moyo said this was impossible with a $3 billion allocation against the needs of the industry.

He said: “It’s an allocation to support the fundamentals, but it needs to be reviewed upwards so that we do not lose capacity. Mining exploration should take precedent over other demands on the budget. The budget may not meet its objective and the mining industry may perform below capacity.”

Mines ministry financial director Mogern Makina pleaded with Parliament to lobby for additional resources to support the ministry on matters of mining exploration.

“We need to explore the minerals in the country because it strengthens our position. We had budgeted to capacitate the metallurgy department where minerals are evaluated. If we do not capacitate our labs, we compromise leakages of our minerals. It is important that we get funding,” he said.

Chamber of Mines mining affairs manager David Matyanga and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation also pleaded for more resources. (Newsday)

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