Vice-President John Nkomo yesterday invited Zimbabweans in the Diaspora with special skills in mining to return home and help revive the economy.
Officially opening the Zimbabwe Mining Indaba in Harare, VP Nkomo said the mining sector had great potential to turn around the country's fortunes.
He, however, said it suffered skills deficiency.
The country lost skilled personnel in various fields at the height of sanctions-induced economic challenges and this did not spare the mining sector.
"A major challenge facing the mining sector is the issue of skills flight particularly geologists and mining engineers . . . This requires attention. I call on skilled Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to come and fill this void. Zimbabweans need you to come back and develop our motherland," VP Nkomo said.
Apart from skills flight, VP Nkomo said other challenges existed in the sector that required attention.
These included the need to invest in modern technology, undertake new explorations to establish the country's mineral profile and power outages.
VP Nkomo said the country was endowed with a wide range of minerals from platinum to chrome and required capitalisation to enhance productivity.
He said the shortage of funds remained a huge challenge facing the mining sector with mines battling to secure long-term lines of credit.
"But Zimbabwe's strength is premised on its vast mineral endowment. Zimbabwe boasts of 60 known minerals and to date only 40 have been explored, leaving 20," VP Nkomo said.
He said the mining sector had the capacity to sustain a double-digit growth. Mining contributes about 11 percent to the Gross Domestic Product and directly employs more than 45 000 people.
VP Nkomo also challenged mines to invest in modern technology and boost productivity.
The indaba attracted delegates from Botswana, Zambia and the DRC among other countries in the region.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu and Acting Finance Minister Gorden Moyo were among senior Government officials that attended the event.