By Tendai Mugabe
Mhondoro — President Mnangagwa yesterday officially launched the $4,2 billion Karo Resources consolidated platinum project in Mhondoro-Mubaira, which is set to create a combined 90 000 jobs as Government steps up efforts to revive the economy under the new dispensation.
The first 15 000 jobs will come direct from employment by Karo Resources, while 75 000 will be created through secondary and tertiary industries when the project reaches its peak by 2023.
On top of that, the Karo Resources platinum mining project, one of the biggest investments secured under President Mnangagwa’s administration, will generate 300 megawatts of solar energy — part of which will feed into the national grid.
As part of the investment, Karo Resources will build a world class mining complex with a refinery for platinum beneficiation.
The refinery will have concentration, smelting and refining capabilities, including a base metal and precious metal refineries.
He said these typified the thrust of his new dispensation, to focus on development in line with his vision to make Zimbabwe a middle income economy by 2030.
Karo Resources will be extracting platinum at a depth of just 40 metres, unlike in South Africa where miners have to drill over a thousand metres to reach the platinum ore.
President Mnangagwa said the Karo Resources project will change the face of mining in Zimbabwe and was in line with his mantra that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.
“This integrated platinum project is one of the numerous investment commitments we have received from potential international investors who have taken bold decisions to invest in Zimbabwe following my declaration that Zimbabwe is open for business,” said President Mnangagwa.
“I commend all stakeholders for the consummation of the investment agreement leading to today’s ground breaking ceremony.
“Today’s ceremony, thus, bears testimony to the new sense of urgency on the part of our Government departments to speedily facilitate investment and related ventures in our country.
“I hope that this unfolding ease of doing business is inspirational and a source of encouragement to would-be investors that Zimbabwe is a safe and fast-growing trade and investment destination,” he said.
“The mining sector is a key contributor to the development of our nation and the biggest foreign currency earner in the economy. The impact of mining goes beyond mineral exploration, exploitation, processing and value addition. Mining is linked to many other value-chain industries. It is vital to the development of other sectors of the economy, including transport, construction, geological, equipment manufacturing, education, research and tourism, among others.”
In line with vision 2030, President Mnangagwa said Government was open to all business collaborations that catalyze development in the country.
“Government welcomes collaboration and partnerships in all socio-economic aspects of national development as we seek to achieve our vision to be a middle income economy by 2030. We will continue to concertedly attend to all impediments which derail and delay the rebuilding and growth of our economy. President Mnangagwa said he would strengthen “institutions that fight corruption and encourage good governance, accountability, transparency and honest hard work in all spheres of our society.”
Recently he commissioned several projects that signaled a new economic thrust by his administration.
“This ground breaking ceremony comes barely one month after I commissioned the re-opening of Eureka Gold Mine in Guruve as well as Shabanie-Mashaba in Mashava, and is indicative of the rebound in the mining sector as a whole,” he said.
“These events are a clear demonstration of my Government’s determination to continuously implement national projects that facilitate economic growth and enhance the quality and standard of life of our people. To this end, we remain seized with the need to modernise and grow our economy as we march on towards building the Zimbabwe we all want.”
Karo Resources chairman Mr Loucas Pouralis said they were here for sustainable investment that would leave a permanent footprint in Zimbabwe.
He said their investment was also going to benefit the local community. “We will play a role in the upliftment of communities through direct ownership,” he said.
“We will deliver on the Government of Zimbabwe’s pledge to beneficiate raw materials.” Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is also the Zanu-PF provincial chairman for Mashonaland West, attended the ceremony.