Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe has earned nearly US$5 billion through mineral exports and is on course to have raked in US$5,5 billion by year-end, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Polite Kambamura told the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Responding to questions from backbenchers on the progress Government had made in efforts to expand the mining industry to US$12 billion of annual exports by 2023, Deputy Minister Kambamura said progress was good with closed mines reopening, new mines being opened and production rising.
The US$12 billion mining industry target was set by President Mnangagwa in 2019, with gold expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum and other platinum group of metals US$3 billion, diamonds, coal and other hydro-carbons US$1 billion each, chrome and steel US$1 billion, lithium US$500 million, and copper and granite US$1,5 billion.
“We have managed to touch on key imperatives for reaching the $12 billion milestone. Some of the imperatives that we initiated were pronounced in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) which involves reopening of closed mines.
“We have seen opening of mines that have since closed. We have seen new mines being opened in the country and one of them being opened at Darwendale under Great Dyke Investments. Another key imperative is the expansion or ramping up of production on existing mines,” Deputy Minister Kambamura said.
Zimbabwe had seen an increase in gold production which now stands at about 20 tonnes valued at about US$1,104 billion.
“The other minerals that have been sold through Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), excluding gold, have managed to bring in US$3,57 billion. If we add these two, you can see that currently we are at about US$4,7 or US$4,8 billion.
“We look forward to seeing this figure going up by the end of the year to around US$5,5 billion, which means we are already approaching about 50 percent of the target. So, we are moving in the right direction towards His Excellency’s vision to come up with a US$12 billion mining revenue or US$12 billion mining industry by the year 2023,” he said.
Government is mobilising resources to buy mining equipment for small scale miners and this would be operated in a similar manner to Command Agriculture with the small scale miners paying off the loans over time from their rising output.