- April 15, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe has set up a task force to come up with strategies of achieving mining sector targets on the back of the ongoing COVID-19 induced national lockdown.
According to ZBC News, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said his ministry has come up with ways of achieving mining sector targets despite the lockdown.
He said the task force seeks to identify how the sector can recover after the 21-day national lockdown period, which began on March 30.
“We are looking at the 21-day lockdown, so in theory, we are looking at 3/4 of a month. We would like to come up with programmes on how we can recover. And also some operations like smelters have continued running as you can’t just shut down operations,” he said.
The mining sector remains one of Zimbabwe’s major economic mainstays.
Minister Chitando said as the sector works on ways to boost production, they were now targeting to at least surpass the US$3,2 billion mark achieved last year.
“As a minimum, we are expecting the US$3,2 billion, which we earned last year. Ideally, we don’t want to lose the target, which we had set ourselves,” he said.
Last October, President Mnangagwa launched a strategic road map to the achievement of a US$12 billion mining sector economy by 2023 as the Government ramps up mineral output contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
Presently, the mining industry is critical in generating foreign currency, contributing about 70 per cent of Zimbabwe’s forex earnings.
Minister Chitando added that there have been a number of initiatives on mining of gemstones, which will be launched at the end of May and the expectation was that these would go a long way in ensuring the sector gets closer to achieving its targets.
Government is also on record stating that it would repossess mining claims that are being held for speculative purposes.
The country is endowed with vast mineral deposits, among them gold, platinum, diamond and chrome but some of the mineral concessions are lying idle depriving the country of its opportunity to derive maximum economic value from its mineral resource. — ZBC News/Business Chronicle