US, Canada in­vestors keen on Zim­babwe

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Oliver Kazunga

IN­VESTORS from Canada and the United States of Amer­ica have shown keen in­ter­est in tap­ping eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties in Zim­babwe, buoyed by the re­forms un­der the new dis­pen­sa­tion led by Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

Last week, a Zim­bab­wean del­e­ga­tion com­pris­ing Govern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor of­fi­cials led by Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Win­ston Chi­tando held a min­ing con­fer­ence in Canada to lure for­eign direct in­vest­ment into the coun­try’s lu­cra­tive min­ing sec­tor.

Speak­ing by tele­phone from Harare on Mon­day, Min­is­ter Chi­tando said they had trav­elled to Canada with a view to ex­plain Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic poli­cies, vi­sion, plans for the fu­ture and op­por­tu­ni­ties in the min­ing sec­tor.

“We went there to sell our case. There were over 140 del­e­gates and the event was sold out. The event was more of an in­vest­ment show­case but there was mas­sive in­ter­est from the in­vestors to the ex­tent that there was a very strong plea that we should come back and do the con­fer­ence again in an­other part of Canada,” he said.

The Fraser In­sti­tute ranks the North Amer­i­can coun­try as the most at­trac­tive re­gion for min­ing in­vest­ment glob­ally. Canada leapfrogged Aus­tralia to be­come the world’s lead­ing min­ing in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion, based on the com­bined rankings of all its prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries.

“It’s quite in­ter­est­ing that at the min­ing ind­aba in Canada, there was a lot of in­ter­est in ex­plo­ration and that is also quite pleas­ing be­cause you know we have been lack­ing on ex­plo­ration,” said Min­is­ter Chi­tando.

Fol­low­ing the con­fer­ence in Canada, he said the Govern­ment ex­pects to see fol­low-up in­quiries from in­vestors in­ter­ested in pen­e­trat­ing Zim­babwe’s min­ing sec­tor. The in­vestors who at­tended the min­ing con­fer­ence in Canada were mostly Cana­di­ans and some en­ti­ties in the min­ing sec­tor from Amer­ica. A few years ago, the Govern­ment in­di­cated plans to un­der­take an aero­mag­netic min­eral ex­plo­ration ex­er­cise in the East­ern High­lands. An aero­mag­netic sur­vey is a com­mon type of geo­phys­i­cal sur­vey car­ried out us­ing a mag­ne­tome­ter (a sci­en­tific in­stru­ment used to mea­sure the strength and/or di­rec­tion of the mag­netic field) aboard or towed be­hind an air­craft.

Over the past three decades, Zim­babwe has not car­ried com­pre­hen­sive ex­plo­ration to de­ter­mine the ex­tent of its min­eral wealth.

The coun­try last car­ried full-scale ex­plo­ration prior to in­de­pen­dence in 1980 and of­fi­cials of the Ian Smith-led govern­ment took away the data.

Of­fi­cial data in­di­cates that Zim­babwe is ac­tively min­ing only 10 out of a pos­si­ble 60 min­er­als.

Key min­er­als be­ing mined in­clude gold, plat­inum, di­a­monds, nickel coal, cop­per, chrome and the lat­est, lithium. Ex­plo­ration data is con­sid­ered crit­i­cal to­wards at­tract­ing in­vestors and de­ter­min­ing the amount of re­sources to be com­mit­ted to­wards exploiting a min­eral. — @ okazunga

Min­is­ter Win­ston Chi­tando

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