via Govt seek partners to explore mineral resources – NewsDay October 20, 2015
Government is seeking partners for exploration designed to collate the value of the country’s mineral resources, Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Fred Moyo has said.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
The search for partners comes after government signed an agreement with a Japanese company to conduct exploration.
According to experts, it is expensive to do exploration and the country is faced with problems such as skills shortages in the areas of geology, mineralogy and/or mine engineering as many such skills had left the country for greener pastures.
The country is said to have over 4 000 known gold deposits while Chiadzwa diamonds are said to have the potential to supply 25% of the world’s diamond market.
“We want partners to join us on our exploration efforts to be able to support mines by putting world-class infrastructure in water, transport and electricity. We want human skills and information and communication technology and these opportunities are there,” Moyo said.
He said geology opportunities were available in airborne geo surveys, geo-chemical prospecting,
geo-physical prospecting, drilling and evaluation.
He, however, said the investment would also usher in economic benefits through integration of regional economic blocs such as Comesa.
“The national effort on policy review especially towards ease of doing business will spur indaba discussions towards realisable investment,” Moyo said.
“To this extent, our Zimbabwe Investment Authority will be expected to do more than just give out information handouts, but confirm potential bankable projects. The mining commodity industry is in turmoil yes. But this is the time to invest for the recovery towards the next cycle boom, which is surely coming.”
Moyo said government was in the process of transforming the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, a government-owned minerals marketing entity, into an exploration company.
In his 2015 National Budget presentation, Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government had proposed to set aside $3 million towards exploration activities during 2015.
“I am, therefore, pleased to report that the amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act are currently being finalised with their promulgation expected in 2015. This will pave way for the operationalisation of the exploration company, among other measures,” Chinamasa said.
He said the government had already acknowledged the need for setting up an exploration company in order to overcome the challenges that the country was not fully knowledgeable about the extent of the value of its mineral resource base, adding that this inevitably resulted in poorly negotiated contracts, potentially prejudicing the benefits accruing to the State and its citizens.