Zimbabwe sits on the second largest known platinum deposits after neighbouring South Africa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is keen to revive mining after years of reticence by foreign investors during the Robert Mugabe administration.
About a year ago, Mnangagwa won the first election since the removal of Mugabe in 2017, and has laid out an economic transformation strategy that his government hopes will turn the country into a middle income economy by 2030.
In 2018 Zimbabwe generated $3.2bn from mining exports.
Zimbabwe is targeting a fourfold increase in revenue from minerals by 2023 but an ambitious plan unveiled by Mines Minister Winston Chitand. The plan is to generate $12bn from the mining sector by 2023.
Addressing miners in Harare on Monday, Mnangagwa appealed for foreign investment.
“My government will continue to facilitate local mineral resources for beneficiation and value addition, which is vital to the attainment of the $12bn mining economy by 2023.
“The rolling out of the strategic road map … is therefore timely and a realisation of the sector’s potential to anchor and support other economic sectors in our quest to transform.”
Mines minister Winston Chitando said Zimbabwe plans to raise $4bn from gold by increasing output to 100 tonnes in 2023, from just over 30 tonnes in 2018. He said platinum has been earmarked to bring in $3bn by 2023, backed by new investments from SA based Tharisa’s Karo Resources and Russia’s Great Dyke Investments.
Besides gold and platinum, projections include almost quadrupling shipments of diamonds and chrome to $1 billion each, coal and hydrocarbons to $1 billion, and lithium to $500 million, Chitando told reporters in the capital, Harare. A new platinum mine in the country’s central, mineral rich Great Dyke will start producing 290,000 ounces per year in 2023, he said.
The policy document, known as the Strategic Road to the Achievement of $12 billion By 2023, sees gold exports at $4 billion and platinum at $3 billion as the government focuses on “value addition, enhanced investment within the sector, increased productivity and employment creation and increased exports and foreign currency generation.”