Government to establish base minerals processing hubs

Minister of Mines and Mining development Winston Chitando

The government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) is working towards creating base minerals value addition and beneficiation hubs to ensure that small to medium-scale miners benefit from their mineral output.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Base Minerals Stakeholders Workshop held in Harare yesterday the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon Winston Chitando said the government was aiming at capacitating small to medium miners to ensure that they get the real value of the mineral that they are extracting.

The Minister said after the government restricted the export of base minerals ores, it was important for the government to establish hubs that will capacitate the miners in terms of market, capital and beneficiation.

“We have witnessed a significant increase in the production of various base minerals and as government we have seen that it is important we come up with hubs to capacitate our miners,” the Minister said.

Minister Chitando also said that the government was inviting investors from across the country and the world to invest in mineral processing since the government was not going to back down on its stance to ban the export of unprocessed minerals.

“We also need investors who can come in and fill in the place of how we can process the ores,” Hon Chitando said.

According to the MMCZ General Manager Mr Tongai Muzenda, the hubs will be looking towards bringing value to the country’s small to medium miners.

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“MMCZ and the Ministry are working towards creating hubs for various base minerals including chrome, lithium so that we can put them in one place and then buy them from our small scale and medium miners at a fair price,” Muzenda said.

Speaking at the sidelines of the event ZMF President Ms Henrietta Rushwaya said the government was going to identify areas with an abundance of base metals and establish hubs that will ensure that the whole country benefits from its God-given resource. She said the creation of the hubs is in line with the government’s thrust to achieve an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.

“We will create hubs in areas where the mineral is in abundance and those hubs will be used to enable that the biggest benefit at the end of the day will be the small scale producers and the government will also benefit through royalties and as such will be able to contribute significantly towards the country’s GDP. Once we beneficiate the commodities, it will benefit the small-scale miners tremendously, especially given the background that our labour will get to tap from the skills that they are going to acquire from those that are coming to set up the plants in the country. Our battery producers have been benefiting from our markets. And once we have local markets being the ones that are going to generate whatever has been imported, it will enable the country to cut down on its expenditure, especially given the fact that we rely mostly on imports and given the current scenario where the country is actually under the gruelling effects of sanctions. We are able to generate foreign currency and we are able also to import equipment which we will now need for the continuation of production as a sector. And also once we are on that one, our small-scale miners are actually going to be the active participants in revenue generation when it comes to getting the products being produced here and exported from here and also being done by locals at the same time,” Ms Rushwaya said.

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