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Govt moves to plug leakages in the mining sector

“Curbing mineral leakages is key to protecting the critical minerals value chain and ensuring a sustainable supply chain.”

Government is working on plugging mineral leakages in order protect the vital value chain in the mining sector and guarantee a sustainable supply chain, Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando has said.

It is estimated that over US$3bn worth of minerals are smuggled out of the country every year.

Speaking at the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe conference in the resort town of Victoria Falls Chitando stated that the leakages must be overcame to fully develop and enhance the critical minerals value added.

“One of the notable challenges is the leakage of minerals,” Chitando said.

He added:”To this effect, the government is working with stakeholder in coming up with strategies to curb mineral leakages.

“Curbing mineral leakages is key to protecting the critical minerals value chain and ensuring a sustainable supply chain,” he added.

Chitando said there is a need to take a comprehensive and cooperative approach to overcome challenges and take advantage of the potential that critical minerals bring.

He said prioritising research and development is necessary in order to fund new sources of critical minerals and create cutting edge techniques for extraction and processing.

Local beneficiation, Chitando said, is critical to unlock wide opportunities for the economy.

He said the country is harnessing transformative power of its vast mineral resources through increasing investments towards the construction of base metals and precious metals refineries to value add to unlock wide economic opportunities for the benefit of ordinary citizens.

“It is in this light that the country must develop domestic refining and processing capabilities to enhance economic independence.

“The mining sector is a key player in the country’s economy and the world at large, contributing close to 70% of foreign currency earnings and employing millions of people directly and indirectly through down stream impact,” Chitando said.

Critical minerals, he said, are mineral commodity that have significant economic importance for the key sectors of the economy whose uses are essential, have a supply risk and have no viable substitutes.

“As we embark on an era of technological advancements, critical minerals have become the cornerstone of modern society.

“The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is in this regard working on strategies to ensure that local beneficiation and value addition becomes a reality for each mineral including the critical minerals,” Chitando said.

He said the strategy on beneficiation will be done on a case by case basis with some of the value chains to be developed and enhanced.

The country continues to attract huge investment in the lithium sector with the government pushing the investors towards domestic value addition as opposed to exporting raw ore. – (Business Times)

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