Mining sector pats media on back for coverage
Harare (New Ziana) – The media came in for rare praise at the mining media awards on Friday for coverage which is helping the sector grow exponentially, in line with the national vision of achieving a US$12 billion industry by 2030.
Only a few years ago, the media was so hostile to the mining sector that, in one instance, it derailed an investment deal worth US$500 million which the government had almost clinched with a foreign investor.
False media reporting on the goings-on in the local mining industry scuttled the huge investment which then Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando was on the cusp of clinching.
This prompted the industry to decide to engage the media more to ensure accurate coverage of the sector, and also saw the birth of the Minex Mining Media Awards sponsored by players in mining.
Speaking at this year’s awards, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Polite Kambamura said the country now chairs both the Kimberly Process Certification and the African Diamonds Producers’ Association,
thanks to the local media’s support of the country’s mining sector.
“We are holding these two chairmanships in one year. In the past there was noise all over that there are blood diamonds in Zimbabwe but it took you the media to correct that and put this correct story forward,” he
Kambamura urged the media to continue reporting positively on the country’s mining sector.
But, echoing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mantra of leaving no place and no one behind in national development, he urged journalists to take up abundant mining opportunities government was offering.
“It has been mentioned that journalists need money, come and mine lithium, we will give you claims, come and do gold, we will capacitate you,” he said.
“The President (Mnangagwa) says we are leaving no one behind and you included. It should not be an issue capacitating you people, like I said for us to be here is because of you.”
He said the mining sector had grown from US$2.7 billion in 2017 to a US$5.6 billion industry by the end of 2022 and continued to grow even as international metal prices were subdued, making it a reality for the
sector to become a US$12 billion industry by 2030.
The growth of the sector has been largely spurred by an improved investment environment, in which mining accounts for 50 percent of foreign direct investments into the country.
Key minerals vital in the achievement of a US$12 billion mining industry are gold, platinum, metals, diamond, coal and other carbons, iron and steel and lithium.
The government has come up with measures that have helped spur investment in the mining sector, including repealing some legislation which was hindering investment, while various fiscal policies to stabilise the economy have contributed to investor confidence resulting in increased investment.
“We are positive that with your support, the future is bright, we look forward to increased activity in the mining economy threefold as we drive towards 2030 and this is going to have a positive ripple effect in
the sector on revenue inflows, job creation, downstream and upstream industries,” Kambamura said.
“Going forward and in line with Vision 2030, the economic development will be underpinned by activities in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development such as intensive exploration, opening of new mines and
intensive research in future minerals.”