Zimbabwe’s mining chamber will next month host a two-day conference on mineral beneficiation as government continues to press companies to add value to local minerals before they are exported.
Zimbabwe government wants major mining companies to build refineries in the country and has given platinum miners two years to build one or lose their licences.
It has indicated that it would be willing to let foreign mining companies retain majority shares in their local units if they build a refinery in the country. South African miners, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, the world’s largest and second-largest platinum miners, have all agreed to sell 51 percent of shares in their local operations to black investors under the Zimbabwe government’s black economic empowerment laws.
The Chamber of Mines (COMZ) said the symposium, to run from February 27 to 28 in the resort town of Victoria Falls, would provide a platform for open dialogue on the status of local mineral beneficiation in the country.
“There is need to create common understanding on beneficiation and its importance, and to review the technical, economic and financial considerations around local mineral beneficiation,” said COMZ chief executive, John Chikombero at a press conference on Monday.
Apart from the country not benefiting much value from mineral exports, it is often argued that by exporting raw products, the country is also exporting jobs and economic rent.
Zimbabwe has more than half of the world’s known chromium reserves and the second largest platinum reserves after South Africa.