By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
Government will early next year roll out a mining development strategy aimed at optimum utilisation of the country’s potential in the mining sector in order to stimulate sustained macro-economic growth, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has said.
Government is on recording saying one of the major inhibiting factors affecting the mining sector is that Zimbabwe remains largely under explored thus failing to tap fully into the over 40 minerals in the country.
If implemented, the move will attract more foreign investment into mining amid high investor interest, but hesitancy to invest over lack of scientific and bankable exploratory evidence.
This comes on the heels of a position paper released by the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) in which it listed over 45 mines where mining only began issuance of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) or were commercially established using results of EPO studies.
Minister Chitando said the mining development plan and growth strategy which Government is seeking will encompass both large scale miners and the artisanal miners with the later also set to benefit from policy interventions.
“Government would like to ensure optimum extraction of mineral resources to achieve the economic growth of the country,” Minister Chitando told The Herald Finance and Business.
“The country is endowed with way over 40 minerals of which very very few are being optimally extracted or have plans for optimal extraction.
“Government will in early 2020 come up with a Mining Development plan which will spell out strategies to ensure increased and optimal extraction of the country’s mineral resources. The plan will also come up with a revised exploration policy and strategy to support the growth of the mining industry.
“Such growth will be achieved from both the large scale mining sector and the artisanal and small scale mining sector. Policy interventions to support the later will also be incorporated,” he said.
Provinces, he said, will also have Provincial Mining Plans (PMPs) drawn up by the ministry and these will take stock of the minerals in each province and strategies for their exploitation in the context of the broader national mining development plan.
In their paper released last Monday, CoMZ noted that the reason why there have been no new mines of late is because there has been not been exploration after Zimbabwe parked EPOs for almost 20 years in favour of the “less effective” claim pegging.
The chamber noted that claim pegging is not as effective as it ” . . . include loss of significant information as the geoscientific reporting system for claims is not the same as for EPOs (being less stringent and biased toward output).”
With an exploration success rate of 3,9 percent as at 1984 against a global average of 0,1 percent, a call to exploration in Zimbabwe has the potential to draw large capital from leading capital markets.