Min­ing sec­tor girds loins for 2030

US $12bn rev­enues tar­geted

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS NEWS - Africa Moyo Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

MINES and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Win­ston Chi­tando says all ducks are now in a row for mas­sive eco­nomic turn­around as the min­ing sec­tor, driven by gold, di­a­monds, coal, chrome and plat­inum; bids to gen­er­ate US$12 bil­lion by the year 2030.

Pro­duc­tion tar­gets and time­lines for the var­i­ous min­er­als have been out­lined, set­ting the stage for mas­sive work for the next twelve years.

Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, seen by mar­ket watch­ers as goal-driven, has set 2030 as the year by which the coun­try would have be­come an up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy with cit­i­zens on de­cent jobs and a per capita GPD of US$3 500.

The Pres­i­dent has di­rected all min­istries to come up with quick wins for the im­me­di­ate turn­around of the econ­omy, while not los­ing sight of the broader de­sire to set a firm foun­da­tion for the re­ver­sal of al­most a decade of eco­nomic un­der per­for­mance.

Min­is­ter Chi­tando re­cently said Vi­sion 2030 would be achieved through mas­sive eco­nomic growth, spurred by in­vest­ments, mainly in the min­ing sec­tor.

With the in­vest­ment cli­mate dra­mat­i­cally im­proved fol­low­ing the amend­ment of the Indi­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Act to al­low in­vestors to own 100 per­cent of their in­vest­ments ex­cept in the plat­inum and di­a­mond sec­tors, in­vestor in­ter­est is build­ing up.

Be­tween Jan­uary and June this year, the Zim­babwe In­vest­ment Author­ity (ZIA) ap­proved in­vest­ment pro­pos­als worth US$12 bil­lion, a first for the coun­try since in­de­pen­dence.

The Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Plan (TSP), which out­lines a raft of eco­nomic re­forms cen­tral to eco­nomic growth, has also at­tracted global at­ten­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the West, and more in­vest­ments are ex­pected.

A stel­lar per­for­mance by the min­ing sec­tor be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust, which saw di­a­monds record­ing a 22 per­cent jump to 2,2 mil­lion carats, lithium min­er­als ris­ing from 34 110 tonnes to 49 359 tonnes, gran­ite (46 per­cent to 160 600 tonnes), coal (4 per­cent surge to 2,4 mil­lion tonnes) and plat­inum group met­als increasing by al­most 1 per­cent, sug­gests a brighter fu­ture for the coun­try.

Min­is­ter Chi­tando said there are very firm and con­crete plans that will see the min­ing sec­tor con­tribut­ing over US$12 bil­lion by 2030.

Last year, the min­ing sec­tor gen­er­ated US$2,7 bil­lion in rev­enue, spurred by an out­put boom in gold, di­a­monds and plat­inum.

Plans for gold sec­tor

The gold sec­tor has meta­mor­phosed from be­ing a 3 tonnes sec­tor in 2008 to 24,8 tonnes last year driven by ar­ti­sanal min­ers who con­trib­uted 53 per­cent of the out­put.

The sta­tis­tics are cra­zier this year, with 28 tonnes hav­ing been de­liv­ered to the coun­try’s sole gold buy­ing com­pany, Fi­delity Print­ers and Re­fin­ers (FPR), by Septem­ber 30th.

FPR is a unit of the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe (RBZ). Gold de­liv­er­ies topped at 27,1 tonnes in 1999, and the record is set to be bro­ken this year.

“For gold, it’s the in­crease from 25 tonnes last year to over 100 tonnes by 2030. And that process is well un­der­way. This year, we were aim­ing for 30 tonnes (but) the chances are we will achieve 35 tonnes.

“We will def­i­nitely achieve over 40 tonnes next year, and it’s not just a pipe dream, work is ac­tu­ally go­ing on to­wards that,” said Min­is­ter Chi­tando.

He said for the US$12 bil­lion min­ing rev­enues to be achieved, gold

de­liv­er­ies must top 100 tonnes by 2030.

Ca­pac­i­ta­tion of small-scale min­ers through the Gold De­vel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive Fund (GDF) has sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­uted to higher gold de­liv­er­ies from a sec­tor oc­ca­sion­ally ridiculed for the rudi­men­tary tools used and the life­styles of the min­ers.

The RBZ has in­creased the GDF to US$150 mil­lion from US$74 mil­lion last year.

Min­is­ter Chi­tando also said the pres­ence of a player who pro­cesses re­frac­tory gold, which, all along has not been pro­cessed, will also boost out­put.

Fur­ther, the launch of the first gold cen­tre in Bubi, which is set to pro­duce over 2 tonnes per year, is also ex­pected to trans­form the gold sub-sec­tor.

Four more gold cen­tres are set to be rolled out by De­cem­ber 31st.

The re­turn of as­bestos

Min­is­ter Chi­tando said the as­bestos sec­tor is on the road to re­cov­ery, with some dumps be­ing pro­cessed.

He said as­bestos prod­ucts man­u­fac­turer, Tur­nall Hold­ings Lim­ited, is now ob­tain­ing raw ma­te­ri­als from Sha­bani-Mashava Mines, sav­ing the coun­try the much needed for­eign cur­rency.

“I am sure you are aware of what is hap­pen­ing with as­bestos. Tur­nall is no longer im­port­ing as­bestos. It’s com­ing from the dumps.

“De-wa­ter­ing of Mashava Mine will be done by De­cem­ber (and) the mine will start pro­duc­ing in the first quar­ter next year. Sha­bani Mine will start pro­duc­ing by 2020.”

Sha­bani-Mashava Mines used to em­ploy 5 000 em­ploy­ees and sin­gle-hand­edly drove the Zvisha­vane econ­omy.

Its re­vival will cre­ate more jobs for cit­i­zens in Zvisha­vane, Mberengwa, Shu­rugwi and Masvingo.

Mi­mosa Mine cur­rently em­ploys the bulk of peo­ple in the ar­eas sur­round­ing Zvisha­vane. Di­a­mond sec­tor primed to lead the way The full weight of eco­nomic re­cov­ery has been thrust on the shoul­ders of the di­a­mond sec­tor since 2006 when the gems were dis­cov­ered in Marange.

How­ever, the sec­tor has largely dis­ap­pointed, par­tic­u­larly af­ter sto­ries of cor­po­rate malfea­sance were un­earthed at some of the mines.

But the sec­tor’s 22 per­cent jump in the first eight months of this year sug­gests a turn of for­tunes.

Said Min­is­ter Chi­tando: “Di­a­monds recorded 1,8 mil­lion carats last year (and) with US$400 mil­lion set aside for ZCDC (the Zim­babwe Con­sol­i­dated Min­ing Com­pany), we ex­pect 12 mil­lion carats by 2022.

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