Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
DIGITALISATION, exploration and value addition on diamonds are some of the strategies that Zimbabwe will pursue as Government seeks to turn the country’s mining sector into a US$12 billion industry by 2023.
Despite the mining sector’s critical role in generating foreign currency, bringing in about 70 percent of the country’s forex earnings already, Government is ramping up efforts to increase the sector’s contribution to the economy.
The projected increase would represent a 344 percent jump from US$2,7 billion achieved in 2017.
Announcing a cocktail of measures set to improve the country’s mining sector following a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said initiatives put forward in a paper by the Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando included an order to stop the issuance of special grants in reserved areas.
“The initiative includes: plans to fast track exploration, evaluation and digitalization of selected reserved areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as well as other high-level targets. The initiative also includes plans to stop issuance of special grants in the reserved areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development until the exploration and evaluation is completed,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the initiative would include “value addition program for diamonds; and the issuance and renewal of special grants for energy should be based on the following considerations, amongst others : – (a) for coal the- financial and technical capacity to value add all the types of coal in the respective areas and for coal the ideal exploration of : – (b) for Coal Bed Methane (CBM) – the ideal exploration of Coal Bed Methane (CBM); and (c) for renewal of Special Grants – consideration should take into account the period the Special Grant has been held as well as plans with milestones for value addition of the Special Grant.”