We are in the right direction – Mines Minister
By Vimbai Kamoyo
THE mining sector is headed on the right track, a cabinet minister has assured players in the industry.
Speaking briefly at a breakfast meeting organised by the Chamber of Mines, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said indications across the sector were that the industry was growing and future prospects were bright.
“There is growth across all the sectors of the mining industry; be it nickel, gold, platinum, granite and other minerals. Since we banned the export of raw granite we have been inundated with requests for value addition. As a Government, we are working flat out to get all the enablers that will assist the industry.
“We need to work together in order to grow, the government and the private sector as well. This will see us achieve the US$12 billion mining industry economy by 2023 vision that we have,” he said.
The Zimbabwe mining industry generates approximately 65 percent of the country’s annual exports and contributes over 12% to the gross domestic product, while employing hundreds of thousands of workers.
Speaking on the same occasion, researcher and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe Carren Pindiriri echoed the same sentiments as the minister although he said there are some grey areas that need to be worked upon.
He was presenting the state of the mining report.
“Generally, mining executives are confident about prospects for their business in 2022. Notable among the positive sentiments include optimism about commodity price outlook, improvement in capacity utilisation and anticipated mineral output growth.
“Again, the majority of the executives are planning to ramp up production in the coming year, as most of them want to keep their labour force or even increase it.
“It is heartening that the majority of mining companies have engaged in massive COVID-19 vaccination drive, thus doing their bit in fighting the pandemic. However, there are areas that as a sector we need to do more.
“There is a general negative perception of political risk among players. Power outages have adversely affected the operations of many mining companies. Power is one of the foremost needs of any operating mining entity. There is also pessimism on the prospects to raise outside capital,” said Pindiriri.