Zimbabwe: U.S.$12bn Target in Sight - Chitando

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Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando says the Government's target of building a US$12 billion mining industry was within sight, amid sustained production growth, and may be exceeded by the 2023 deadline.

The mines minister said the mining industry target dovetailed into the Government's vision, as espoused by President Mnangagwa, of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle income society by 2030.

Riding on President's "Zimbabwe is open for business mantra", he said, and combined with diverse mineral endowments, skilled personnel and capital from investors, Zimbabwe had the perfect recipe for success.

The mining industry generates approximately 65 percent of Zimbabwe's annual exports and contributes over 12 percent to gross domestic product while employing hundreds of thousands of workers.

Zimbabwe's Treasury believes mining growth will outpace overall targeted economic growth over the five-year tenure of the National Development Strategy (NDS 1), the Government's medium term economic plan.

Minister Chitando said when the US$12 billion milestone was launched in 2019; some people thought it would be achieved overnight, a grossly incorrect assumption, he said.

The mines minister was speaking during a ceremony for the presentation of a US$5,2 million dividend to shareholders by Kuvimba Mining House, a collaborative project between Government and private investors.

Kuvimba, which declared its first dividend only 12 months after coming into existence, has a number of several special interest group shareholders alongside Government's 21 percent stake and 35 percent for private equity holders.

Minister Chitando said mines took time to be constructed, resuscitated and expanded, stressing that an earlier presentation as earlier illustrated by Kuvimba Mining House chief executive officer David Brown.

"He (David Brown) chronicled the progress which Kuvimba Mining House has made in resuscitating and expanding gold mines at Jena, at Shamva and Great Dyke (DGI) Investments (platinum group metal mine).

"He also outlined progress on the work being done in resuscitating other gold mining operations . . . this is just at Kuvimba. There are several other (mining) initiatives by various investors, small, medium and large scale. With players like Kuvimba, we can only have faith and be certain that we are moving on the right path towards achievement of the $12 billion target. It will be achieved and is the process of being achieved," he said.

Minister Chitando said "day by day, month by month production is increasing" among the various productive sub-sectors in the mining industry, including platinum, gold, coal and lithium.

The minister also reaffirmed the position that, looking at the geology of Zimbabwe, some areas were best suited for mining by small players, but there was significant room for large miners. Minister Chitando said among other endowments, Zimbabwe had a unique resource in the form of skilled human resource, key in optimally exploiting the country's mineral resources.

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