- September 11, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
THE mining sector is shifting focus from short term goals to long term achievements in a bid to ramp up production towards the set target of US$12 billion earnings by 2023 in line with the national vision of creating a middle-income economy by 2030.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, said this during a recent tour of mining operations in Silobela under Midlands province.
Minister Chitando who later officiated at an education stakeholders meeting in the area, said the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the mining sector to shift focus.
While the Government had set a 40 tonne gold output target for the year 2020, Covid-19 disruptions have crippled smooth operations and adversely affected mineral deliveries.
The mining sector is considered as essential service and has been allowed to continue operations amid lockdown measures. However, the effects of a global economy standstill due to Covid-19, has frustrated gains achieved in the prior year.
Minister Chitando said Government was now focusing on achieving long term targets instead of yearly goals.
“The main focus is on medium to long term targets. We have put in a lot of effort in a bid to attain 100 tonnes gold output by 2023. There might be disruptions here and there but that is the main target,” he said.
“As you are aware in 2017 the mining sector was at US$2,7 billion and we are targeting US$12 billion by 2023, which is a milestone towards achievement of the 2030 vision
“Achieving a middle-income economy status is a process not a one-day event and achieving an industrialised economy takes long.”
Minister Chitando said despite the external shocks such as Covid-19 and adverse macroeconomic conditions, the Government was working hard to unlock the mining sector potential.
“As a sector we are assisting the President to march towards the 2023 goal as well as our own goal as a sector. We are setting up 14 gold centres across the country as we seek to increase gold production.
“We are also in the process of expanding our mining operations across the country,” he said.
Minister Chitando said mining plays a critical role in infrastructure development hence the need for Government to put more resources towards mining development.
He said the Midlands province has a lot of mining opportunities that need to be unlocked to create employment and contribute to the wider economy growth.