A new mining venture, Kuvimba Mining House, which is majority-owned by the Government, will employ 20 000 workers in the short to medium term, as it ramps up investments in the mining sector in line with the renewed thrust to leverage on the sector to grow the economy.
The Government holds 65 percent shareholding, while a consortium of international and local investors controls the remainder.
The venture has three operating gold mining assets — Freda Rebecca, Shamva, and Jena Gold Mine — which are producing an estimated 300 kilogrammes of gold per month.
It has a stake in the Darwendale platinum project (Great Dyke Investments), Trojan Nickel Mine (Bindura Nickel Corporation), as well as in Zim Alloys Limited.
More than 3 065 workers — 1 065 at BNC, 800 at Shamva Gold Mine, 620 at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, and 580 at Jena Mine — are employed at different projects under Kuvimba Mining House.
Speaking at the official reopening of Shamva Gold Mine on Friday, Kuvimba’s chief executive officer Mr David Brown said the company will be investing US$1 billion to resuscitate some of the dormant mines that are under its portfolio.
“In addition to the operating assets, Kuvimba has in its stable a number of non-operating assets which include Golden Kopje, Elvington and Sandawana mines. These mines are currently being evaluated to determine their production potential.
“As we speak, Kuvimba is the largest gold producer, the only nickel producer, and is one of the top ten largest exporters in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Brown.
“As part of our aggressive growth plans, Kuvimba is in the process of acquiring other gold mines which we will announce as and when appropriate. Furthermore, Kuvimba will expand its exploration programmes to a number of its current claims to seek new gold targets.
“Zimbabwe Alloys Limited is currently under judicial management and we are working with management to restore the mines to an appropriate production profile over the next 12 to 24 months,” he said.
Kuvimba, whose current monthly revenues average US$24 million, is working on listing on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange to attract foreign direct investment.
The mining concern is targeting to grow its share of exports to US$1,4 billion, which translates to 13 percent of the overall US$12 billion target being pursued by the Government.
Mr Brown said he is, however, counting on Government support to protect its mining assets through curbing illegal, unorthodox, and unsafe mining practices.
In his remarks at the event, President Mnangagwa, who was the guest of honour, said Kuvimba’s arrival shows that the journey towards Zimbabwe’s economic revival is not just sloganeering, but reality.
Under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), mining and agriculture will be the cornerstones on which Zimbabwe will leverage economic growth towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
The mining sector has been tasked to grow its annual export contribution to US$12 billion in the next two years, up from US$2,7 billion in 2017. It is envisaged that the gold sector will account for US$4 billion during that period.
“Some (sceptics) have been thinking it was slogan; in fact, social media still says so . . .
“Let those who believe in slogans continue sloganeering and those who believe in action and practicality and reality do so,” said the President.