Zimbabwe

‘Strategic ventures to unlock mining potential’

President Mnangagwa unveils a plaque to mark the official reopening of Shamva Gold Mine. — Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara

Ishemunyoro Chingwere in SHAMVA

Strategic synergies between Government and international investors accepting Zimbabwe’s invitation to invest will go a long way in unlocking Zimbabwe’s huge mining potential and driving the economy towards an upper middle income economy by 2030, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

President Mnangagwa officiated at the formal reopening of Shamva Gold Mine, which resumed operations in May on the back of fresh capital from Kuvimba Mining House, a joint venture between Government and a consortium of international investors.

The President was accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, several Cabinet Ministers and other senior Government officials.

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President Mnangagwa greets Kuvimba Mining House chief executive officer Mr David Brown after the official reopening of Shamva Gold Mine yesterday

Shamva Gold Mine, plagued by a myriad of challenges, chief among them capital flight, was put under care and maintenance in 2019, ending production and rendering hundreds of employees jobless. With the reopening, the mine becomes the latest beneficiary of President Mnangagwa’s global investment lure under the “Zimbabwe is open for Business” policy, which has seen new mines opening, others expanding and viable closed mines reopening. The reopening of Shamva Gold Mine has immediately seen up to 800 employees who had been laid off by the previous mine owners being re-engaged. The President yesterday indicated that he is particularly happy to see hundreds of workers who had been laid off back at work.

With Government pursuing a US$12 billion mining sector, and gold production soaring to 100 tonnes a year, the reopening of Shamva Gold Mine takes Kuvimba Mining House’s yearly gold output to about four tonnes.

Other contributions to the company output comes from the miner’s flagship, Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, and Jena Mine. Government owns a controlling 65 percent stake in Kuvimba, with the other 35 percent in the hands of international investors.

“Today we gather here to witness the official reopening of Shamva Gold Mine in Mashonaland Central Province following the resumption of its operations in May 2020,” said President Mnangagwa. “This was a result of the formation of a private company called Kuvimba Mining House in which Government owns 65 percent shareholding. It is envisioned that this entity will help in unlocking the inherent richness and value of our country’s mineral deposits through deploying appropriate mining technologies and skills. I thus commend the company for showing confidence in our economy in response to our mantra, ‘Zimbabwe is open for Business.’

“Riding on this momentum, I urge players in the sector to nurture and develop synergies towards ensuring that we unlock the value in Zimbabwe’s mining assets which include diamonds, gold, lithium and rare earth minerals among others,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Vice President Chiwenga said the official reopening of Shamva Gold Mine is evidence that Zimbabwe’s economic revival journey is well on course.

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VP Chiwenga also applauded efforts by the mine management towards substantially revamping operations and turning around the fortunes of the mine in a short space of time.

“The reopening of the mine is testimony that the journey we embarked on to transform the economy following the coming in of the New Dispensation is beginning to bear fruit,” said VP Chiwenga. “As you are all aware, mining remains a key anchor of the Zimbabwean economy, contributing more than 60 percent of export receipts and more than 50 percent of foreign direct investment,” he said.

With the country’s huge mineral endowment complemented by proper deployment of skills, technology and Foreign Direct Investment, the President said Zimbabwe will no longer mourn the existence of economic sanctions placed on the country.

Kuvimba Mining House chief executive officer Mr David Brown said the entity views Zimbabwe as a safe destination for capital and has thus heeded the President’s open for business call.

From the mining concern’s independent assessment, Zimbabwe indeed has the potential to achieve its mining sector milestone of US$12 billion in annual exports from 2023 onwards.

“Kuvimba heeded the President’s clarion call that Zimbabwe was indeed “Open for Business”, said Mr Brown.

“We recognised that Zimbabwe was a safe investment destination and decided to participate in the President’s vision of ensuring that Zimbabwe becomes a middle-income economy.

“From our assessment and from my experience, Zimbabwe has world class mining assets which will if properly managed and explored easily attain the goal of having a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023,” he said.

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HERALD