Zimbabwe: ED to Headline U.S.$ 12 Billion Mineral Promise

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).
11 October 2019

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will next week Monday lay bare the four year mining sector strategy that is billed to yield the country US$ 12 billion in mineral receipts annually by year 2023.

Mnangagwa currently away in France, will give an account of how his administration intends to achieve the ambitious target in the coming four years.

The strategy if it succeeds will make the mining sector the biggest contributor to GDP.

Address the press this morning, Mines and Mineral Development Minister, Winston Chitando said the strategy had been endorsed by Cabinet a few weeks ago.

"In the State of the nation address, His Excellence made further reference to the fact that the US$ 12 billion milestone will be unpacked shortly and I wish to announce that the US$ 12 billion will be unpacked on Monday in the afternoon," Chitando said.

Currently, Zimbabwe is earning about a third of the envisioned value, earning US$ 3.4 billion from the mining sector in 2018.

As part of the strategy, the Minister preempted that there will be an agreement signed between London-listen Vast Resource and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).

Under the arrangement, villagers in Chiadzwa will be partner Vast Resources in the mining of diamond having acquired title deeds of some diamond concessions in the areas to form a company called Katanga.

"Katanga will be signing the joint venture with ZCDC, which holds the mining title and the details as to the structure and modalities on how that will work will be given at the announcement next week, at the sign ceremony," Chitando said.

Analysts have called on a raft of immediate measures to be put in place if the Government is to achieve its set target.

In first quarter, the mining sector raised red flags, with gold deliveries falling 10m percent on account of delays in foreign currency allocations to miners which were taking up to 12 weeks, industry watchdog, Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe noted.

There have also been concerns over lack of transparency in the diamond sector.

The mining sector remains the country's major foreign currency earner and Zimbabwe's economic prospects strongly depends on its growth.

But worsening power cuts, high operational costs and fuel shortages poses serious threats to its sustainability going forward.

Externally, President Mnangagwa has a herculean task to dispel a recent report by the US government claiming forced labor at Marange diamond fields.

This, if left unchallenged by Mnangagwa, will spell dire consequences to the country's diamond sales.

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