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CoMZ 2024 conference kicks off in Vic Falls

The PGMs indaba will see participants from various local, regional and international experts, including executives of operating mines and new PGMs projects, making presentations.

THE Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) 2024 annual conference kicked off in Victoria Falls yesterday as players deliberate on solutions for the growth of the multi-billion dollar sector.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to officially open the conference tomorrow.

Running under the theme Unlocking Growth Potential for the Zimbabwe Mining Industry, the annual mining conference will end on Friday.

The theme, according CoMZ president Thomas Gono, is motivated by the desire to create an environment that sustains growth to realise the economic transformation the nation desires under Vision 2030.

The event programme includes a critical minerals symposium, platinum group metals (PGMs) indaba, exhibition and side events and activities including dinners, cocktails and a golf tournament.

Yesterday, there was a closed-door annual general meeting and council meeting to regularise governance of the chamber.

Today in the morning, there will be a critical minerals symposium, which seeks to discuss policy and markets matters among other issues.

The guest of honour for the symposium is Winston Chitando, Mines and Mining Development minister.

Key speakers will be drawn from an array of seasoned local, regional and international experts to share their thoughts on various discussion areas around the symposium.

These include speakers from SFA Oxford, a renowned global research institution, representatives from critical minerals markets and other experts.

In the afternoon, CoMZ will host a PGMs indaba to address the challenges affecting the sector.

The PGMs industry is experiencing weak demand, low prices and increasing costs, affecting the viability of mining operations.

The price decline for PGMs is mainly attributable to abundant supplies in the face of deteriorating global macroeconomic conditions, which generated subdued demand.

The decline in demand also emanated from increased substitution in the automotive and glass industries, favouring alternative metals over palladium and rhodium.

As a result, Zimbabwe’s exports of PGMs witnessed a substantial decline of 36,9%, in value terms to US$1,4 billion in 2023.

Large-scale producers like Zimplats and Mimosa have instituted cost-cutting measures such as retrenchments.

CoMZ chief executive officer Isaac Kwesu recently told journalists in Harare that the PGMs indaba will see participants from various local, regional and international experts, including executives of operating mines and new PGMs projects, making presentations.

“So, we are going to hear more about this from both the current operators on how they have been affected by the challenges that are affecting the PGM sector. We are also going to hear from the new entrants, investors in terms of the appetite and desire,” he said.

“We have some projects that are currently underway. (We would like to know) to what extent these projects are going to finish on time on the back of the global challenges affecting the PGM sector.

“So, we will also have an opportunity to meet with some international experience from South Africa on how best they are equally managing the challenges that are affecting the global platinum prices.”

Tomorrow, the chamber will host the main conference.

Speakers include central bank governor John Mushayavanhu, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority commissioner-general Regina Chinamasa and other local, regional and international speakers.

The conference will discuss topical issues around growth imperatives for the mining industry and energy and financing solutions for the sector.

The outcome of the conference is expected to assist in promoting the development and growth of the mining sector in the medium to long term.

On Friday, there will be a networking golf tournament. – (Newsday)

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