Harare – In order for the country to meet it’s US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, Mr Matthew Chidavaenzi the head of gold development initiative fund at Fidelity Printers and Refiners noted that the country needed to open and resuscitate the closed and idle mines in the country.
He added that we should also strive to increase the installed capacity of the mines that are currently functioning such that we can be able to produce 100 tonnes per year from the current 25-30 tonnes per year of gold.
This was said during the MineEntra 2020 virtual conference held on Thursday where captains of the industry where in attendance including Chamber of Mines Mrs Nerwande.
The current tax framework is highly fragmented and complex to the extent that it is now acting as an investment disincentive. Therefore the country needs to refine it’s mining legislation and regulations in order to push investment forward according to Chidavaenzi.
“In the 90s Zimbabwe and Australia produced around 28 tonnes per year of gold but due to investor friendly laws Australia moved to 100 tonnes in a few years and that’s what we need in the country,” said Mr Allan Mashingaidze said in agreement.
The other thing the panel agreed on is that small scale miners need to be capacitated in order for them to grow and produce more as they are vital in this goal.
In hindsight the sector needs US$1 billion in order to re-equip and help in operations in order for output to increase and this can only come from foreign investors or a bailout by the authorities.
Mrs Nerwande pointed out that post Covid-19 jobs are going to be cut as planned capital projects are going to be put on standby as well as companies finding new ways to cope with reduced workforce. Power supply although improved due to less demand, the problem is still within the industry.
Supply chain problems are affecting the industry as some companies have closed and boarders closing at different times and thus has been the achillies heel to spares and restocking. Capital shortages will definitely persist if not worsen as the year closes, Nerwande added.
However the president of the chamber of mines noted that Platinum and gold are operating at near full capacity and thanks to a surge in metal prices the industry is seeing better returns. Ferro-chrome is the hardest hit by Covid-19 and hopes that it will rebound quickly.