Government’s vision to have a US$12 billion mining industry-driven economy by 2023 is gradually gaining momentum through the penning of various partnerships with several players in the mining sector, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said a lot of ground had been covered in terms of capacitating the mining sector and implementation of the value addition and beneficiation concepts.
He said this after assessing the setting up of a Diamond Washing Plant in Beitbridge that is a culmination of an agreement signed last year by Government and Russia’s Alrosa.
This is under the Malipati special grant that covers areas in Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces.
Minister Chitando said the partnership with Alrosa will result in the production of at least 10 million carats worth at least US$1 billion. He said a number of partnerships were being explored to build provincial and national economies. Alrosa supplies 26 percent of all diamonds in the world.
“A joint venture named Alrosa Zimbabwe Limited was signed last year and progress has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Minister Chitando.
“However, in the last three months, a lot has been done in setting up the exploration camp and assembling a diamond washing plant.
“We expect the plant to be completed early next year and this initiative develops fully and plays a key role towards the US$12 billion vision and towards the 2030 vision as enunciated by President Mnangagwa.”
Minister Chitando said the project will not only boost the national economy, but will help create more jobs in Matabeleland South.
He said so far 60 people from the region had secured jobs and more people will be hired.
“Zimbabwe is open for business mantra came up with relaxation of the indigenisation laws to promote foreign direct investment and we are set to meet the US$12 billion mining industry-driven economy,” said Minister Chitando.
“We are here at the Malipati diamond project where our hopes of success are very high. An aero-magnetic survey and prospecting has been done and is now at the late exploration stage.”
Indications where that the whole Malipati 1 to 7 special grant area could be reached in Diamond Type 2, which is a kimberlite pipe with high value compared to Diamond Type 1.
Minister Chitando said engagements with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development were already underway to come up with an intervention to address the valuation of minerals by customs officials to maximise revenue collection during exportation.
He said the outcome and standard operation procedure will be announced in due course.
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), board chairman, Mr Wellington Pasipamire said they were working with Alrosa to explore over 40 special mining grants.
“A lot of resources have been put in place and we are very hopeful that this will be a great success and we can be able to turn around our economic fortunes in line with the Vision 2030,” he said.