Zim ramps up investor engagement for mining sector

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Enacy Mapakame

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said Zimbabwe is ready to engage potential international investors in the mining sector as the country looks at unlocking a billion dollar revenue sector.

Zimbabwe is endowed with vast mineral resources but failing to realize its full potential due to limited foreign direct investment in the sector.

But investors are now turning their attention to the country’s mining assets because the most important risks to resources investment in Africa; expropriation and indigenisation have been conclusively dealt with.

Changes to the country’s Constitution removing indigenisation ownership thresholds from all minerals save diamonds and platinum mean that mining assets have become attractive relative to the South African current environment.

Speaking at a Financial Markets Indaba (FMI) in partnership with Thomson Reuters Mining Investment Roundtable in London, Minister Chitando indicated the country was on path to recovery with various reforms not only in mining but across sectors being implemented to attract investment.

He added the joint ventures with the Zimbabwe Mining and Development Corporation had so far proven to be successful and invited other investors to come in the country and explore the various opportunities available.

“Government through the Ministry is upgrading its capability to enable efficient functioning and processing of mining formalities such as claims and licensing. Streamlining such processes will provide basis for increasing production.

“We are working towards increasing gold production from 27 tonnes to 100 tonnes per annum,” said Minister Chitando.

At the meeting, Contango Holding plc executive chairman Roy Pitchford spoke on listing Zimbabwe mining companies on foreign exchanges providing his real business experiences leading listed mining entities with operations in Zimbabwe.

The roundtable was held under the theme “Zimbabwe: Mining listings – the new chapter”, and attracted the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investments Markets (AIM) officials, London investor community, lenders and related organisations.

Participants at the oversubscribed event provided a candid platform for exchange with Minister Chitando and his team on key issues such as regulation, policy, governance and ease of doing mining business in Zimbabwe.

The roundtable also hosted other notable speakers such as Thomson Reuters head of metals research and forecasts, Rhona O’Connell, who provided a view on the outlook of mining commodities. 

According to the organisers, the roundtable was meant to create a platform for potential investors who invest in African mining projects as well as identify opportunities for Zimbabwean mining firms to list on foreign exchanges to unlock value.

FMI business development executive Patrick Muzondo said emphasis was placed on the potential for Zimbabwean mining entities to list on AIM, London Stock Exchange (LSE) and other foreign exchanges.

“The team at FMI intends to continue convening such platforms which bring together policy makers, capital providers, project promoters and advisors,” he said.

FMI is an investment convening platform that connects project developers, lenders, investors, promoters and businesses to promote investment in Africa and Zimbabwe and its parent company -Emergent Capital Management (ECM) is an investment advisory and private management firm with offices in Harare, Johannesburg and London.

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