The mining sector is poised to become the largest sector and overtake agriculture vis-a-vis contribution towards Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a senior government official revealed on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is paving a roadmap for the achievement of US$12 billion revenue by 2023 from US$2.7 billion in 2017.
Mines Minister, Winston Chitando is expected to produce before Cabinet, a strategic plan for this achievement and according to him, chrome is going to be a power house mineral and is expected to rise from 269 000 tonnes to 2 million.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube acknowledged the development and said there is a two year projection that the mining sector will overtake the agricultural sector in the contribution to the GDP.
“The mining sector has become more important than the agricultural sector. Certainly this year and next year, mining sector is going to be one of the largest sectors in terms of contribution to the GDP. At the moment it is about 18% GDP,” he said.
Ncube said the mining sector is also powered by the fact that it is the largest foreign currency earner so far in terms of exports and it is expected to create more jobs.
“The mining sector is the largest foreign currency earner in terms of exports and then you will also see that it creates jobs through the report that has been presented by the Minister,” he said.
Minister of information, Publicity and Broadcasting told the media on Tuesday that the cabinet was briefed by the mines minister on progress in the implementation of the following mining projects.
Production of the first of four portals is on course for completion by the end of 2020 or first quarter of 2021.
Expansion of furnace capacity at Kwekwe in progress.
Joint venture with Tsingshan to develop furnace capacity in Zvishavane is at advanced stages
Work is underway on power generation from coalbed methane gas.
3)Tsingshan Steel Project
• Two furnaces being commissioned in September 2019 as part of expansion of required ferrochrome production.
• Production of coke-site establishment done.
• Teams will be on the ground in Mvuma area for resources evaluation.
• Evaluation of resource underway.
• Have invested heavily in drilling rigs.
• Funding secured – construction about to start.
6)Kamativi tailings company
• Construction in progress and should commence production in 2020.
7)South Mining Company
• They are constructing a coke works plant which will produce about 300 000 tonnes per annum generating about US$75 million.
• The first section of the battery which produces 150 000 tonnes, being turned on around 27th August 2019 and will start producing about 50 days later.
• Second phase of 150 000 tonnes being turned on in December 2019.
• They produce high carbon ferrochrome
• They are the only producers of law carbon and ferrosilicon chrome which has high value.
• They are commissioning in September 2019, what will be the first and so far, the only plant of electrode paste which is used in furnace operations.
9)Tshingshan – Afrochine
• They were running three furnaces in Selous.
Two new furnaces which currently make them the highest producers of high carbon ferrochrome, are ready for commissioning.