NRZ courts mining partners

Source: NRZ courts mining partners | The Herald April 22, 2016

Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
The National Railways of Zimbabwe is currently courting partners in order to start exploration of its mineral assets in South Africa.

The national rail company owns a significant stake in Pan African Minerals Development Company in South Africa.

PAMDC was created in 2007 to take over the mining concessions previously owned by ZIZA, a group that was jointly owned by the railway companies of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“In South Africa (the NRZ) has mining rights under a company called Pan African Minerals Development Company, partly owned by Zambia through the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and also by South Africa. The mining claims are for manganese, and limestone.

“In terms of assets outside the country, NRZ only has mineral rights of Manganese and limestone in South Africa. The national railway company jointly owns the mineral rights with South Africa and Zambia,” said NRZ acting general manager Lewis Mukwada.

The creation of PAMDC was essentially to incorporate South Africa into the ownership rungs of the entity after the South African government laid claim to ZIZA’s concessions under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (of 2004), which vests all mineral rights with the state.

 “We have for sometime been looking for funding to start exploiting the mining venture but to no success. However we are courting partners so that work can start on those claims. The declining commodity prices on the global market have been another challenge in our quest to secure partners,” said Mr Mukwada.

The state-owned railway company is currently struggling due to lack of capital and dilapidated infrastructure and equipment.

The under-performance of the NRZ has had wider ramifications for other economic players in sectors such as industry, mining and agriculture as firms have shifted their bulk business to haulage trucks which is more costly

According to the arrangement on the mineral claims, Pan-African Mining Development Corporation was expected to take charge of the mineral adventure in South Africa, where it is expected to manage concessions in excess of 1,7 million hectares.

It was planned that the mineral prospecting firm will be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange before subsequent listing on the Zimbabwe and Zambia Stock Exchanges as part of its capital raising efforts.

Pan-African Mining was supposed to prospect for a variety of minerals, including gold, coal, diamonds and platinum.

The mineral assets are currently overseen by ZIZA, an acronym for Zimbabwe-Zambia Limited.