These are the ten most influential individuals in the Zimbabwe Mining Industry in 2019.
(1) Ben Magara
Zimbabwe-born Lonmin Chief executive officer and director Ben Magara has been named among the top 10 most influential men in 2014 by Forbes Magazine. He has remained one of the best exports for Zimbabwe in the mining sector.
Appointed Lonmin boss in July last year at the world’s third-largest platinum mining company, Magara is tasked with improving industrial relations and guiding the platinum miner’s turnaround strategy after strikes last year triggered violence which killed 46 people including 34 strikers shot dead by police in a single day at its Marikana mine.
Magara, who speaks seven languages, has a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Zimbabwe.
(2) Winston Chitando
Winston Chitando is the current Minister of Mines and Mining Development. He was appointed to his this Ministry by President Mnangagwa in November 2017. His appointment brought hope to the mining sector and to date he has managed to bring forward significant growth in the sector.
Chitando joined Hwange Colliery Company in 1985, and worked for Anglo-American Corporation in various capacities, including Chief Accountant, for 11 years.
In 1997, he became a commercial manager (Mining and Industrial Division) at Zimasco before rising to the position of executive director (finance) for both Zimasco and Mimosa Mining Company (1998-2007).
Winston served as Vice-President of the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe from 2008 to 2011 and its President from 2011 to 2013 and Executive Chairman of Mimosa Holdings since April 1, 2013.
He was chairman of Hwange Colliery Company Limited since May 19, 2016. His tenure at its end however was blighted by alleged corruption allegations levelled against him.
(3) Alex Mhembere
Alexander Mhembere, also known as Alex, ACIS, ACMA, MBA, has been the Chief Executive Officer of Zimplats Holdings Ltd. since October 1, 2007. Zimplats is the largest platinum miner in Zimbabwe.
Mhembere has experience in platinum mining in Zimbabwe. He served as the Managing Director of Mimosa Group of Companies Zimbabwe of Aquarius Platinum Ltd until September 30, 2007. Mr. Mhembere has been an Executive Director of Zimplats.
Since taking over at Zimplats Alex has been instrumental in driving the growth of the company into the biggest platinum producer in Zimbabwe.
In addition during his tenure, Zimplats has managed to grow in phases and new mines have since been born at Ngezi operations despite the current economic challenges currently affecting the country.
Alex has also been a champion of community empowerment where the Ngezi community now has earned an urban status while also communities around Zimplats operations have been greatly empowered.
(4) Batirai Manhando
Batirai Manhando who is the current Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe president has been Managing Director at Bindura Nickel since November 2013.
He serves as Interim Group Chief Technical Director of Asa Resource Group Plc (alternatively Mwana Africa PLC) since December 14, 2016, and served as its Chief Technical Officer and Managing Director of BNC from October 6, 2016, to December 14, 2016.
Batirai served as Managing Director of Trojan Nickel Mine at Asa Resource Group Plc until October 6, 2016.
On his achievements, Manhando has led teams in the planning and execution of major projects including six-in-line furnace rebuilds, process upgrades and business turnaround. He is a member of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Manhando has also superintended the growth of Bindura Nickel Corporation despite the price conundrum that has been affecting the nickel market.
(6) Elizabeth Nerwande
Elizabeth Nerwande is currently the Head of Corporate Affairs for Mimosa Mining Company. She is also the First Vice President of the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe. She was the Executive Director of Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) from 1999-2003, CEO for Zimtrade from 2004-2006 and Commissioner General for an Expo in Aichi Japan.
She also a board member at the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC).
Elizabeth has been a champion of community development by mining companies and this saw Mimosa transforming the face of Zvishavane through various community projects and empowerment programmes. As part of that vision, Mimosa has one of the best football clubs in Zimbabwe, FC Platinum.
(7) Paul Chimbodza
Paul Chimbodza, a board member in lithium miner Prospect Resources is a holder of a BSc Geology Honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe, is an Associate Member of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and is an Executive Director and shareholder of Stonestar Investments, the owners of Dinhidza Vermiculite mine.
Paul has held senior Exploration Geologist and management positions at Rio Tinto, Trillion Resources of Canada and Delta Gold of Australia.
Chimbodza becomes one of the locals to have been awarded concessions to mine oil in the Muzarabani area. His contribution to the mining sector has been huge also after having played a huge role in the growth of Metallon Gold as well being the champion behind Zimbabwe realizing its lithium mining potential.
(8) Steve Curtis
Steve Curtis who is currently driving undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s biggest gold producer, Blanket Mine is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience and has held a number of senior financial positions in the manufacturing industry.
Before joining Caledonia in March 2006, he was Director Finance and Supply Chain for Avery Dennison SA and prior to this Financial Director and then Managing Director of Jackstadt GmbH South African operation. Mr. Curtis is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and graduated from the University of Cape Town. He was appointed to the Caledonia board in July 2008. Steve was appointed Caledonia’s Chief Executive Officer in November 2014, prior to which he was Caledonia’s, Chief Financial Officer.
The soft-spoken Executive is a man of repute and a point of reference for Zimbabwe mining success stories. Curtis was the first hero of the indigenization policy after his company became the first to implement the policy.
Blanket Mine under his stewardship has been one of the biggest supporters of community development.
(9) Toindepi Muganyi
Toindepi Muganyi is the current CEO of ASA Resources group and managing director of Freda Rebecca. He is also a former Chamber of Mines President. The man has managed to grow his profile to become a voice of reason in the mining sector.
Muganyi during his tenure despite economic challenges managed to transform Freda Rebecca into one of the biggest gold producers in Zimbabwe in the group of the likes of Metallon on an individual mine basis.
(10) Bhekhinkosi Nkomo
Bhekinkosi was appointed as CEO of RioZim Limited on July 01, 2017. He is an alumni of the Harvard Business School after having successfully completed its Advanced Management Program in Boston, Massachusetts.
Bheki is also a registered Chartered Accountant both in Zimbabwe and South Africa and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Accounting Degree from the National University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Accounting Science Degree from the University of South Africa.
Nkomo is a well-rounded senior executive who possesses a strong business and leadership record spanning over twenty years of experience. Prior to his elevation to the role of CEO, Bheki served with distinction as RioZim Limited’s Group Finance Director from 2015 to 2017, during which period he was instrumental in spearheading the implementation of the Group’s expansion strategy which resulted in the Group’s number of operating gold mines growing from one in 2012 to three by 2017 and gold production increasing by more than 350%.
Furthermore, Bheki played a key role in restructuring the Group’s debt which significantly improved the Company’s liquidity, capital structure, and operational efficiency. Bheki also has vast experience in the areas of finance, operations, and strategic planning.
He has also served on various Boards. Currently, he serves on the Boards of RioZim Limited and its various subsidiaries and associates.