Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) is on a drive to promote the gemstones industry as it eyes the sector to contribute significantly towards the US$12 Billion mining industry by 2023.
The Federation is working tirelessly to market gemstones through formal networks as the stones have been finding their way out of the country through illicit channels.
Last week ZMF held a meeting with the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) in Harare where vast measures were proposed for the formalization of operations of the Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (ASM) in the gemstone industry which includes among others, that MMCZ issues subagents licences for the trading of gemstones through ZMF as a matter of urgency and creation of a round-robin education and awareness campaigns in all gemstones mining districts.
ZMF is of the opinion that formalisation has been long overdue and they are working overtime to push for the process for both the miners and the country to extract real value for this sector estimated to be worth over $20 billion.
The sector only managed to bring in a paltry $400 000 in the past year. However, the sector is eying to become a US$50 Million industry by 2023.
ZMF Secretary for Semi-Precious and Gemstones Mr Privelage Moyo said as formalisation is being done, ZMF and its partners will open up markets in the provinces.
He said they intend to conduct awareness campaigns to encourage miners to sell their gemstones through the correct channels.
Moyo also said that the Federation has resolved to work on the expedition of the export process and reduce the turnaround time on exports.
“The issue is to have provincial and regional markets being opened. The first one will be opened in the Karoi, Hurungwe area. Then awareness campaigns will be also done concurrently with the opening of the markets,”
“So that at the end of the year sales will be recorded then at the same time, whilst production is optimized then marketing is established. Then also the need for the ease of export, so the turnaround on exports needs to be reduced so that we can see inflows of revenue so that we can surpass a US$50 million mark for the gemstones,” said Moyo.
MMCZ General Manager Mr Tongai Muzenda said his organization was fired up and had the zeal to put a halt to the losses the country has been experiencing as a result of these informal activities.
He said the mop-up exercise will reach all gemstone producing areas.
“It’s very good that we have attended this session. I’ve already spoken with my boss, the Minister, that the gemstone people, which are ZMF, MMCZ and Defold, are going to be contributing a minimum of 50 million in 2022. The biggest objective is to make a lot of money for the gemstone industry. I’ve had several meetings and we want to have partnerships which create value,” said Mr Muzenda.