Mining sector to help in economic recovery

by Rudo Saungweme

The new dispensation is in a bid to improve all sectors of the economy and the mining sector is at fore of those plans.

Zimbabwe has plenty of minerals and if these are properly utilised Zimbabwe will be a middle economy by 2030 as envisioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. What is critical in those plans is for Zimbabwe to ensure those minerals are value added to ensure maximum benefit for the country.

The new government’s efforts to revive the mining industry will lead to job creation for the locals. Eureka Gold mining in Guruve which was closed for more than 15 years was recently reopened through President E.D’s Mnangagwa pro-business policies. The mine is going to employ about 400 people and produce 1,5 tonnes of gold annually. The new dispensation is prioritising the revival of the mining industry because they are aware that the sector is vital in the resuscitation of the economy.

A lot of mines which had closed down or were operating at below capacity are now hopeful with the coming in of this new dispensation. A case in point is Kamativi mine which was known for tin production but recent surveys has indicated that Kamativi has more lithium than tin. Jimbata, a subsidiary of Zimbabwe Lithium Company, has since commenced an evaluation exercise to determine the lithium resource in the dumps at Kamativi mine. Lithium is used to produce various products. Its alkaline properties are conducive to changing the state of metal oxide colourants in glaze.

BioMetallurgical Group managing director, Lee John acknowledged the new dispensation`s efforts in creating a conducive environment for all the sectors in the economy in support of Zim Is Open For Business mantra. The BioMetallurgical Group said that it is looking forward to re-open the Empress Nickel Mine which was closed in 1983 and was never opened because no one  was able to come up with the means to reopen it since it is a low-grade mine. Mr John said that he did not have the zeal to reopen some of his mining companies in the old government because of the political interference by the G40 faction. He added to say, he now feels safe because the new President E.D Mnangagwa is doing a fine job in creating a conducive environment for everyone who is willing to revive the economy.

The new dispensation is also supporting artisanal and small scale miners to make their mining easier and affordable. Minister of Mines and Mining Development Chitando said that the government is setting up gold milling centres for small scale-miners and it will start with Bubi, where Bubi Small-Scale Miners Association had a joint venture project with an investor to set up a milling plant. The plant is set to benefit about 90 small –scale and artisanal miners in the area. To add to that, the government has secured a $ 60 million loan facility for small-scale gold miners to strengthen gold output.

Government`s efforts to revive the mining sector will consequently lead to the resuscitation of the economy. The funds generated from the mining sector will benefit everyone in the country taking Zimbabwe to a middle income economy by 2030.