Harare (New Ziana)-Gold production of 100 tonnes and earnings of US$4 billion per annum will anchor the attainment of a US$12 billion local mining industry by 2023, a Cabinet Minister said on Monday.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the US$12 billion milestone will be achieved through sustained production growth across high value minerals such as gold, platinum, diamonds, lithium and chrome.
He said US$3 billion in annual export earnings was expected from platinum at a production rate of 2.4 million ounces a year while chrome, iron ore and steel were expected to contribute US$1 billion, the same as diamonds at a production rate of over 11 million carats per annum.
Coal and hydro-carbons, he said, would contribute US$1 billion, lithium US$0.5 billion while other minerals would add US$1.5 billion.
“We can do it, we have to do it, we will do it,” Chitando declared boldly at the launch of a strategic road map to the achievement of a USD 12 billion mining industry by 2023.
“The US$12 billion has been defined and the role now (of government) is to facilitate its achievement.”
Chitando said the US$12 billion milestone was based on quick wins and low hanging fruits, given that there were several projects across various minerals which were being developed with some scheduled to come on stream within the next two years.
He said to aid the achievement of the milestone, the government would also come up with policies for specific minerals and provincial mining policies while pushing for increased exploration and the participation of small scale miners.
“The 2023 milestone only includes a fairly small percentage of the minerals we have (in Zimbabwe). We talk of over 40 minerals but if we look at what we are targeting its probably around 10 minerals which shows the potential that we can and we should do better to improve that US$12 billion,” he said.
“If we look at the projections we have done a minimum of US$20 billion will be the target by 2030.”
Chitando said the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra adopted by the second republic had enabled new investment in the mining sector to trickle in.
“What Zimbabwe lacked to take advantage of the mineral endowment we have, was the capital investment and when His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) came up with his mantra Zimbabwe is Open for Business what that did was to unlock new sources of capital.
“It enabled us to talk about the US$12 billion, an increase in the mining industry from US$2.7 billion to US$12 billion, that is a 344 percent increase,” he said.