Zimbabwe has to broaden its mineral base from the current five to mitigate against high concentration risk, Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa has said.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
These remarks come after the country recorded a 3,45% decline in mine value for the minerals produced in the first quarter of 2016.
The country recorded $419,9 million in the first quarter, down from $434,9 million recorded last year on the backdrop of depressed global mineral prices.
In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy at the Chamber of Mines conference in Victoria Falls, Chidhakwa said there was need for the mines sector to come up with intervention measures and incentives for exploitation of other minerals.
“Although we have a broad variety of minerals, currently the country relies largely on five minerals which account for 90% of mineral revenue. This high concentration risk certainly needs to be corrected,” Chidhakwa said.
The industry is, therefore, called upon to recommend intervention measures and incentives for exploitation of other minerals.”
Zimbabwe relies mainly on gold, diamond, platinum, nickel and chrome which contribute 60% of its exports.
Chidhakwa said the ministry had promulgated a Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation (MEMC) Bill, which was aimed at integrating minerals marketing and fully fledged mineral exploration by integrating the current Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and Mining Promotion Corporation into MEMC.
Chidhakwa said efforts by MEMC would result in new mineral deposits for exploitation by both local and foreign investors, adding that the ministry had started the process of establishing a computerised mining cadastre for the management of the entire mining industry throughout the value chain — that is from licensing actual projects implementation and marketing, including accounting of production by all mining and mineral entities.
“Currently consultations are being done by the consultant hired for this job and work is being done to ensure that the cadastre Mining Title Management System becomes operational as soon as possible. The ministry is now moving with speed to finalise this project,” he said.
According to Chidhakwa, the migration from the old system to the computerised cadastre system would bring challenges of disputes due to overlapping of mining titles arising out of inherent inaccuracies.
This year’s 77th annual general meeting and conference was held under the theme Revive, Accelerate and Sustain Growth.