- October 8, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Boka Investments is spreading its tentacles into mining amid revelations that the country’s largest tobacco firm has started developing a gold mine in Bindura — Mashonaland Central.
Deployment of specialist equipment for further exploration works is reportedly already underway, with preliminary indications pointing to the existence of a significant gold resource.
Zimbabwe is generally considered to be an under-explored jurisdiction and it holds significant mining potential than what is currently obtaining.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, says only 10 percent of the country’s over 40 mineral occurrences are being exploited, among them gold, platinum, diamonds, nickel, chrome, copper, lithium, coal, asbestos and emeralds.
Local investors such as Boka, represent investment that ensures localisation of equity and earnings from gold mining, a sector dominated by foreign capital, especially the large scale industry.
“We have made significant strides to develop a mining programme for our claims in Bindura,” Boka Investments director Mr Mathew Boka said in an interview recently.
“Drone magnetic survey and ground magnetic survey, IP survey, geological mapping are almost complete with reconnaissance drilling set to commence by end of year.”
Mr Boka said progress was slowed due to challenges related to the global pandemic of coronavirus.
Mining is Zimbabwe’s largest foreign currency earner, accounting for over 60 percent of the country’s annual export earnings, with more than half of its generated from gold exports.
The sector is strategic to the Zimbabwean economy and between them, gold and tobacco account for the bulk of foreign currency earnings from goods exported by the country annually.
Zimbabwe’s annual gold output fell 16,8 percent to 27,6 tonnes in 2019, coming off its record highs in 2018, as producers battled with power cuts and a currency challenges.
The Southern African country had managed a record haul of 33,2 tonnes in 2018, while deliveries for 2019 were projected in the order of 40 tonnes given the stellar output the prior year.
Output from large mines was 10,181 tonnes in 2019, while small scale mines produced 17,478 tonnes, according to figures from Fidelity Printers and Refiners, the sole gold buyer and a unit of the central bank.
The mining sector remains one of the key industries expected to anchor the revival of an economy suffering from depressed production and acute foreign currency shortages.
Last year, the Government launched the mining roadmap expected to grow mineral earnings from exports to $12 billion in the next three years.
Under the US$12 billion mining industry target, gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum US$3 billion while chrome, iron, steel diamonds, and coal will contribute US$1 billion.