Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter|
THE African Union (AU), through member states’ ministries responsible for mining, is considering formulating a policy that protects the mining sector from the hazards of declining mineral prices.
The move is in line with the AU’s Africa Mining Vision spelt out in 2011 and seeks to foster a concrete action plan or roadmap that puts the continent’s long-term and broad development objectives at the centre of all policy making concerned with mineral extraction.
The vision thrusts mining at the centre of driving continental development by taking advantage of the value that minerals have.
This came out during this year’s edition of the Africa Mining Summit held in Botswana recently, where the Zimbabwe delegation was led by Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura.
Deputy Minister Kambamura told The Herald yesterday that the summit discussed policy and sought to mobilise the private sector to partake in the structural transformation of African economies for the benefit of citizens.
He said top among the issues that came out during the discussion related to the continued decimation of the mining sector by market volatility due to deliberate actions of market bullies.
Zimbabwe, for example — with the second largest chrome ore reserves in the world after South Africa — is bearing the brunt of depressed prices owing to international manipulation of markets.
“There was also a discussion on how, at Government level, we can help foster or chat a new way forward for the African mining sector, new business model for mining and how companies can remain liquid in the face of market volatility,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
“. . . you are aware the world is currently seized with trade wars mainly pitting China and the USA and these global giants with the market control at their disposal, they control a big chunk of our resources so we need to be strategic enough to counter any abuse of market powers.”
There was also discussion on how small-scale mining can be promoted, and Zimbabwe is already taking the lead on this front as the sector is now dominating production of important minerals such as gold and chrome.
Deputy Minister Kambamura also said the summit discussed the need to lure investment into the mining sector.
Zimbabwe has taken deliberate steps under the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” policy to attract global capital into the mining sector.