George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Rich diamond deposits have been discovered in the Sese area of Chivi, with investors scrambling to start mining the gems that are expected to catapult Masvingo Province into a mining hub.
Masvingo already boosts of minerals such as lithium that is mined at Bikita Minerals, gold at Renco Mine and coal, which is mined in the Lowveld.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Josaya Hungwe said diamond mining was set to start in Chivi following the discovery of kimberlite pipes in the Sese area.
Addressing the media during a press conference ahead of a re-branding dinner dance to market economic opportunities in Masvingo, Sen Hungwe said the discovery of diamonds in Chivi would economically transform the province.
Sen Hungwe said discovery of the gems affirmed Masvingo’s position as a mineral-rich province in the country.
“I have just been briefed about the discovery of rich diamond deposits in the Sese area of Chivi and the gems are not alluvial diamonds, but they are kimberlite pipes rich in diamonds discovered in the area in an exciting development for mining in our province and the entire country.
“We have made it clear to investors who are interested in extracting the gems to come up with proposals on how they plan to exploit the diamonds and Government will make a decision on how the diamonds will be mined.’’
Sen Hungwe said preliminary indications showed the kimberlite pipes stretched from Sese to the Mandiva area, about 10 kilometres apart.
It is believed the kimberlite pipes in Chivi fall under the same belt with diamond bearing pipes at Murowa Mine in neighbouring Zvishavane district.
Sen Hungwe said Masvingo had great potential to be one of Zimbabwe’s economic giants by virtue of its rich mineral resource base, good agricultural land, coupled with abundant water for irrigation and a good road and rail transport network.
He said there was need to re-brand the province and sell various economic opportunities abound in Masvingo to both local and foreign investors.
“We will be hosting a re-branding conference on March 3 where various stakeholders from the business community, captains of industry and investors from within and outside the province will have an opportunity to be appraised of economic opportunities found in the province,’’ said Sen Hungwe.
He said Masvingo was yearning for investment to kick-start economic development in the province following years of stagnation.
“We have rare and precious minerals like lithium at Bikita Minerals, gold, coal and of late diamonds in Chivi, together with fertile soils and many under-utilised dams that could be tapped for irrigation,” said Sen Hungwe.
“Masvingo also a gateway to the country’s largest trading partner, South Africa and is also strategically linked to the rest of the country and beyond the borders by both road and railway, making it a destination of choice for investment.’’ Sen Hungwe said Masvingo could leverage on its vast tourism potential and build a multi-million dollar tourism industry anchored on the wildlife-rich Lowveld area that boasts the Gonarezhou National Park, world acclaimed Save Valley Conservancy and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Completion of the giant Tokwe-Mukosi Dam and dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, said Senator Hungwe, was expected to further enhance Masvingo’s economic potential.