Zim to host mining conference next week, targets fresh investment

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Minister Winston Chitando

HARARE – Zimbabwe will ext week host a mining conference in which over 20 countries have shown interest to participate, a cabinet Minister said on Monday.

The conference, to take place on February 27 and 28, comes shortly  after the Chamber of Mines said the industry was in need of a capital  investment of over $7 billion for sustenance and growth.

Zimbabwe is endowed with over 40 minerals among them gold, platinum,  diamonds, as well as little known ones like lithium and tungsten which  are however slowly gaining prominence.

“It is the intention of this government to drive growth and development  of the mining industry and usher an environment that derives maximum  benefits from our mineral resource endowment,” said Mines and Mining  Development Minister Winston Chitando.

He said when fully exploited, the resources could “significantly  contribute to the revival of our country.”

Chitando said the conference would allow the industry to showcase  opportunities for investment and business as well as for arranging  project finances.

“We are excited to have engagements between the Zimbabwe mining  industry and international investors,” he said, adding the government  was working flat out to make the investment climate attractive,” he  said.

The mining industry is this year expecting to register a marginal  increase to $2.5 billion in revenue earnings, up from $2.38 billion in 2017 on the back of a slight rise in production.

The industry, a major exporter, has through the Chamber of Mines warned  that it remained fragile as it continued to operate below capacity due  to a host of challenges, top of them shortages of foreign currencies  that were resulting in delays in foreign payments, inadequate capital,  high cost structure (high electricity tariff, sub-optimal fiscal  charges), power disruptions, low exploration activities and depressed  metal prices mainly for platinum and nickel. – New Ziana

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