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MMCZ marketing weak – Miners, mining professionals

MMCZ marketing weak – Miners, mining professionals

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Miners and Mining professionals on a highly interactive gemstone platform have blasted the MMCZ for poor marketing.

Members of the platform are of the notion that weak marketing from the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe is stifling the growth of the precious and semi-precious sector.

One member questioned why the MMCZ does not have an online shop that showcases semi-precious minerals the country has for everyone to see.

“What is missing on the MMCZ website is an Online Shop. As the corporate state the role of mediating between the producer and the buyer: what is it in stock for the international market. Is it not possible to add a shop online that gives everyone the chance to see the aquamarine, emeralds, amethyst, tourmaline etc we claim as a nation we have,” he asked.

The member went on to add that the MMCZ must also consider the domestic market.

“It also appears MMCZ focus is only on foreign buyers my question why not open up the domestic market? We have seen how a good domestic market can transform key economic sectors in the tourism industry. What is it in gemstones that the local market needs to know? We need to embrace the therapeutic value of gemstone and bring awareness to the people. If one knows a piece of cats eye in your pocket can ward off evil spirits who wouldn’t want to have one?  There are many benefits and spiritual values in gemstones more than money. This is the kind of approach l would want to see MMCZ embracing,” he ended.

Today, more than ever, social media delivers creative liberty to people. Sharing views and topics of interest has become easier and more seamless. According to data reportal, there were 1.30 million social media users in Zimbabwe in January 2021 and according to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 4.2 billion in January 2021.

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This creates a splendid marketing opportunity for any business as social media channels can also let you send people to your website to learn more about what products and services your business provides. Surprisingly in this digital age, the Minerals Marketer of Zimbabwe isn’t on any social media platform!

“This is the biggest challenge, the regulator seems stuck in primitive ways of conducting business. They still want another unproductive so-called stakeholder consultative meeting to address a simple thing like having an interactive website. Apologies for being blunt but this is where I see that the regulator has failed to evolve. They should be prominent on social media – Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, WhatsApp etc,” former MMCZ minerals evaluator and gemologist Engineer Clever Sithole said.
“Management must be dynamic. As a marketing entity, it ought to be prominent in product promotion on all platforms. If it can’t be technical (kuziya matombo [knowing stones] & mining processes) let’s see its perfection in product promotion zve,” Sithole added on.
Another lamented on the lack of knowledge miners have from extraction to value addition a void the MMCZ should consider filling.
“One of our greatest drawbacks in the gemstone sector is a dearth and lack of basic knowledge in the value chain of gemstones, from extraction to the jeweller’s shop. Our forays into value addition are hazy, we just do not know how to do that. This, I think, is space that the MMCZ could fill. Educate us. Give us knowledge. Give us relevant literature,” he concluded.

MMCZ Functions

  • To act as the sole marketing and selling agent of all minerals produced in Zimbabwe.
  • To purchase and acquire any minerals for its own account and to sell such minerals.
  • To encourage local beneficiation and utilization of any minerals.

MMCZ markets directly in some regional and international markets e.g. Diamonds to Belgium, India, Dubai, RSA; coal products into Zambia RSA and DRC, Ferrochrome in Italy; Chilled pool Iron in South Africa, Prime Steel to various regional markets and Chrome Concentrates to South Africa and China.

Channels

1. Direct channel – sales to industrial users
2. Distributor Channel – Sales to industrial distributors
3. Agents Channel – Sales to/through agents/sub-agents/broker
4. Consignment Channel – Sales made from a warehouse in another country
5. Tender Channel – Sales by tender
6. Over-the-counter Channel – Sales to end-users through personal contact.

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