Di­a­mond gi­ant pours US$38m into Chi­adzwa

Pres­i­dent prom­ises jobs, bet­ter qual­ity of life

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Cle­tus Mushanawan­i in CHI­ADZWA

CHI­NESE min­ing gi­ant An­jin Di­a­mond’s re­turn to full-scale oper­a­tions in Chi­adzwa is set to boost the coun­try’s cof­fers as Gov­ern­ment steps up ef­forts to “change the qual­ity of life of our peo­ple in all parts of the coun­try”.

Speak­ing at a cer­e­mony to launch An­jin Di­a­mond Min­ing Com­pany’s of­fi­cial re­sump­tion of oper­a­tions in Chi­adzwa yesterday, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said his Gov­ern­ment was de­ter­mined to re­store pro­duc­tiv­ity in the di­a­monds sec­tor to de­velop the econ­omy.

Through unity of pur­pose and hard, hon­est work, said the Pres­i­dent, at­tain­ment of a US$12 bil­lion min­ing in­dus­try and the coun­try’s Vi­sion 2030, was pos­si­ble.

An­jin con­tributed about US$200 mil­lion to the econ­omy be­fore it stopped min­ing in 2016. It has so far in­vested US$38 mil­lion to re­sus­ci­tate oper­a­tions and will soon em­ploy about 500 peo­ple.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa im­plored the com­pany and other firms op­er­at­ing in Chi­adzwa to pri­ori­tise em­ploy­ment of lo­cals, es­pe­cially women and youths.

“I urge An­jin and other com­pa­nies here to en­sure that women and youths are the largest ben­e­fi­cia­ries of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties be­ing cre­ated. I urge min­ing firms to un­der­take rel­e­vant re­spon­sive cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­grammes for the ben­e­fit of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” said the Pres­i­dent.

“I am in­formed that there is a place in In­dia where there is no di­a­mond mine, but they have a US$5 bil­lion di­a­mond in­dus­try. I’m told Zim­babwe con­trib­utes a lot of di­a­monds there. I don’t know how those di­a­monds get there.

“We need that value ad­di­tion done here in Zim­babwe, not else­where so that we ex­tract max­i­mum value of the min­er­als which we have. With unity of pur­pose, hard, hon­est work and greater de­ter­mi­na­tion, the re­al­i­sa­tion of the US$12 bil­lion min­ing econ­omy and the at­tain­ment of our na­tional vi­sion 2030 will soon be­come a re­al­ity.”

An­jin was among sev­eral com­pa­nies af­fected by Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to let the Zim­babwe Con­sol­i­dated Di­a­mond Com­pany (ZCDC) be­come the sole di­a­mond min­ing com­pany op­er­at­ing in Chi­adzwa.

“Our de­ci­sion in 2016 af­fected the pro­duc­tion of di­a­monds for the last four years. We are now de­ter­mined to re­store the pro­duc­tiv­ity of di­a­monds for the devel­op­ment of our econ­omy,” said the Pres­i­dent.

“I made a de­ci­sion to per­son­ally travel around the coun­try to in­spect

var­i­ous devel­op­ment pro­grammes and in­vest­ments which are un­der­way within all our prov­inces. As a ser­vant leader, I am lead­ing a Gov­ern­ment which is peo­ple-ori­en­tated. We will do all that is pos­si­ble to change the qual­ity of life of our peo­ple in all parts of the coun­try.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa also re­vealed that ex­ploita­tion of var­i­ous di­a­mond de­posits out­side Man­i­ca­land is set to be­gin soon.

He said au­thor­i­ties were now aware of var­i­ous de­posits of di­a­monds out­side Man­i­ca­land and soon some of these places will be ex­ploited.

“It is our de­sire that both lo­cal and for­eign in­vestors should come and take up in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the di­a­mond in­dus­try. We must look be­yond the hori­zon and de­velop ro­bust strate­gies to come up with a thriv­ing min­ing sec­tor to grow our econ­omy.

“You will re­call that at the ad­vent of the Sec­ond Repub­lic, my Gov­ern­ment made a de­lib­er­ate pro­nounce­ment to al­low for­eign owned com­pa­nies, An­jin and Al­rosa, to par­tic­i­pate in the di­a­mond min­ing sec­tor. This strate­gic de­ci­sion was in­formed by the long stand­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Zim­babwe and China as well as Rus­sia, who stood by us dur­ing our bit­ter armed strug­gle to lib­er­ate this coun­try,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

He said Zim­babwe would soon be an ex­porter of elec­tric­ity.

“Those of you who do not have short mem­o­ries will re­mem­ber that three or four weeks ago I was in Hwange where I vis­ited nine com­pa­nies of which seven of them are Chi­nese, while two are lo­cals. By 2023 these com­pa­nies should be gen­er­at­ing in ex­cess of 6 900MW of power. That will make Zim­babwe en­ergy suf­fi­cient and be able to ex­port part of that en­ergy.

“It was a shame that in the im­me­di­ate past we had be­gun to im­port coal from Botswana when we have abun­dant coal in this coun­try. That will not hap­pen again un­der the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion. We are de­ter­mined not only to pro­duce ad­e­quate coal for our­selves, but enough to ex­port and that is on course,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

The com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony was at­tended by Vice Pres­i­dent Dr Con­stantino Chi­wenga, Mines and Min­ing Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Win­ston Chi­tando, De­fence and War Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Min­is­ter Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Mthuli Ncube and Min­is­ter of State for Man­i­ca­land Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs and De­vo­lu­tion Ellen Gwaradz­imba.

Yesterday’s visit to Man­i­ca­land was the Pres­i­dent’s last stop in a whirl­wind eco­nomic projects tour which be­gan in Vic­to­ria Falls on Thurs­day where he of­fi­cially launched the Na­tional Tourism Re­cov­ery and Growth Strat­egy.

The Pres­i­dent led the restart of the sec­tor, whose con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tional econ­omy has been heav­ily crip­pled by the out­break of Covid-19.

The Na­tional Tourism Re­cov­ery and Growth Strat­egy seeks to pro­vide in­creased fund­ing to af­fected tourism busi­nesses, in­clud­ing small to medium play­ers within the tourism value chain through a Tourism Re­volv­ing Fund. He also of­fi­cially re-opened the Vic­to­ria Falls Rain­for­est, sig­nalling the coun­try’s readi­ness to wel­come vis­i­tors to the prime re­sort des­ti­na­tion.

Ear­lier on Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa had toured tourism fa­cil­i­ties in the re­sort town be­fore com­mis­sion­ing the 19-suite lux­u­ri­ous Mbano Manor Ho­tel, which was built us­ing lo­cal fund­ing.

He also vis­ited the mas­sive 146-room Palm Lodge fa­cil­ity, which is still un­der con­struc­tion and is es­ti­mated to cost close to US$24 mil­lion.

On Fri­day, the Pres­i­dent com­mis­sioned a 32,2km stretch of the Harare-Masvingo-Beit­bridge High­way un­der Phase One of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, up­grad­ing and widen­ing pro­ject. The work is be­ing done by lo­cal con­trac­tors. The Pres­i­dent had a stopover in Chivhu where Fos­sil Con­tract­ing has com­pleted a 9km of which 7,2km has been opened for traf­fic, while Masimba Con­struc­tion, Ex­o­dus and Com­pany, and Ten­sor Sys­tems are at prim­ing stage and will start sur­fac­ing this month.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa cuts the rib­bon to mark the launch of An­jin Min­ing Com­pany’s of­fi­cial re­sump­tion of work in Chi­adzwa. He is flanked by Vice Pres­i­dent Con­stantino Chi­wenga (sec­ond from right), De­fence and War Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Min­is­ter Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri (right), An­jin board chair­man Mr Jiang Qingde (sec­ond from left) and Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Mthuli Ncube (left). — Pic­ture: Ti­nai Nyadzayo

Min­is­ter Chi­tando

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