Zim poised for mineral production growth

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 | 1107 views

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Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Business Correspondent
ZIMBABWE is poised to be one of the world leaders in the minerals and metals production if renewed investor appetite in the country’s mining sector is anything to go by.

According to a Zimbabwe Mining Report conducted by Braas Monier and Icopal (BMI) Research, the country has shown significant growth in the mining sector mounting a challenge to the world’s mining powerhouses such as Russia and South Africa in the production of platinum.

“Zimbabwe is growing in prominence as a global mining hub as it begins to leverage its considerable minerals and metals resources. The country is richly endowed with gold, nickel, diamonds, chrome and platinum, among other minerals. The country’s long standing economic and political instability has constrained the development of the mining industry. However, foreign investors and mining groups have shown renewed interest in the country in recent years as the business environment has calmed slightly. Investment in these markets has seen Zimbabwe mount a growing challenge to the world’s leading platinum producers, Russia and South Africa . . . ,” read part of the report.

The report further read that a reduction in taxes on junior and artisanal gold miners is leading to significant growth in gold output.

“In May 2017, the Zimbabwean Government signed an agreement that will see the construction of a USD 300 million platinum refinery, which will significantly increase the platinum export earnings. Kelltech, an Australian company, will form a joint venture company with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation. The plant will give Zimbabwe the opportunity to refine its platinum as opposed to the current process of exporting it as a predominantly raw mineral,” read part of the report.

The report further reads that Zimbabwe’s total output  is set to rise from 0,42 million ounces in 2017 to 0,49 ounces by 2026 representing an average annual growth rate of 0,8 percent during 2017-2021 compared to 3,8 percent during the previous five years.

The report also reads that the Government had made significant strides in ensuring maximum utilisation of mineral resources through employing a “Use it or Lose it” policy.

“In May 2017, the Government of Zimbabwe proposed a ‘Use it or Lose it’ policy in a draft policy paper of the Ministry of Mines regarding large gold mines that were left unused. Zimbabwe may confiscate these unused mining licences from companies and liberalise gold trading as ways to boost output.”

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