Zimbabwe's plan no doubt aims to take advantage of its huge reserves of platinum metals — the third largest in the world — in a bid to reverse its recent economic woes
Zimbabwe aims to increase the annual revenue of its mining industry from $4bn to more than $12bn over the next four years.
The ambitious goal, laid out in the country’s “Strategic Road to the Achievement”, represents a 344% jump from $2.7bn achieved in 2017, and seeks to improve exploration activity, employment levels and foreign investment in the sector.
It aims to increase gold exports to $4bn and platinum to $3bn, chrome, iron, steel diamonds and coal are to bring in a combined $1bn, lithium $500m and other minerals $1.5bn, in what President Emmerson Mnangagwa called a “hurdle-riddled journey”.
Launching the plan, he said: “There is no doubt that, leveraging on the gains from our economic reforms, our engagement with the international community, the mining sector presents huge growth prospects towards the speedy attainment of our national vision to become an upper middle income economy by 2030.”
“Zimbabwe is endowed with vast natural resources and is host to more than 40 different minerals in the categories of precious metals, base metals, industrial metals and gemstones.”
“As government we are convinced that the mining sector is a forerunner in the provision of backward and forward linkages with other economic sectors, creation of decent jobs, infrastructure development, export earnings and becoming the most preferred investment portfolio.
“Thus, the attainment of our vision is premised on the mining sector making huge contributions — it is envisaged that investments and benefits accruing from this sector will be critical building blocks for a prosperous Zimbabwe.”
Challenges lie in wait for ambitious growth of Zimbabwe mining industry
Zimbabwe’s plan no doubt aims to take advantage of its huge reserves of platinum metals, the third largest in the world, in a bid to reverse is recent economic woes.
The country’s GDP declined this year for the first time since 2008, and inflation rates have been estimated to be as high as 900%.
The Strategic Road to the Achievement plans to boost the country’s mining industry through a mixture of increased mineral exploration and investment, alongside a rise in exports and more foreign currency generation.
Mnangagwa said: “The objective of this strategic roadmap is to facilitate the exploitation processes of the country’s minerals throughout their entire value chain that is from exploration, mining metallurgical processing, value addition and beneficiation.
“My government is desirous to transform the mining industry and ensure that the country achieves social equity and equality around communities where mining takes place.
“In this regard, the sector should enhance and adopt best practices, including occupational safety, health and environmental management in order to ensure appropriate healthy conditions of employees, local communities and the general public.”