Industry, mining synergy weak: Govt

Source: Industry, mining synergy weak: Govt | The Herald May 3, 2016

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
THE synergy between the manufacturing and the mining sector is weak, as such there is need to make sure the two talk to each other, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Fred Moyo has said.

The deputy minister of Mines said that while the manufacturing industry plays a very important role in providing services to the mining sector, the link between the two sectors is currently very weak.

Mining and manufacturing are among the four key sectors of the economy and between them account for nearly 30 percent of gross domestic product, although the latter’s contribution is on a down spiral as companies battle low capacity utilisation.

Deputy Minister Moyo also noted that the mining sector is currently not active to the level that Government would want, but stressed that the sector would become active across the value chain from exploration, project proposals, capital raising, building assets and actual production of minerals.

Zimbabwe has more than 40 mineral occurrences among them coal, diamonds, nickel, copper, asbestos, gold and platinum, of which Zimbabwe has the second largest reserves after South Africa.

“Our assessment says that your influence as industry on the mining sector is probably as high as 30 percent to 40 percent of inputs of services into the mining value chain, but the engagement between the mining sector and the manufacturing sector is probably complementary of that generic relationship,” he said.

The deputy minister said, for instance, when he and his industry counterpart, Charatidzo Mabuwa, undertook a tour of industry in Bulawayo during Mine Entra last year, they did not find any company which did not have mining as one of their key target sectors.

“But when we asked what the relationship was with regard to interface with mines to try and influence each other, there was very little.

“So I am trying to get industry to support the initiative the ministries are trying to do to say ‘can we understand each other’s business’.

“(Local) industry is asking mining what they require, but in most countries it is industry that says to mining you must use the following goods and equipment because it is more efficient, productive.

“But I think industry at the moment simply asks what has to be used. Unfortunately, the equipment that you supply must talk to the geology the miners are mining; because you are not influencing the miners; miners then buy what is available in the market.

“And what is available on the market, if it is made in Europe, it is made for their environment. So we are probably using technology that is more expensive for our environment,” the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development said last week.

He was speaking during a manufacturers’ conference during the 57th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which ran from April 26 to April 30 under the theme “Innovate, Integrate, Industrialize” and focused on helping industry get back on its feet.