INTERNATIONAL investors will get a chance to consider the vast investment opportunities in Zimbabwe’s growing mining sector at a mining indaba to be held from 27 to 28 February 2018 at The Meikles Hotel in Harare.
The conference is hosted by the London-based MiningReport in conjunction with the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and the Mines and Mining Development Ministry.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa will officially open the indaba, which has attracted interest from over 20 countries. He has pledged to make economics and trade cooperation, rather than politics, his government’s main priority “in order to catch up with the region”.
Over 300 high profile decision-makers representing local, regional and international players involved in Zimbabwe’s mining sector are expected to attend the two-day event.
Liberation Mining, who are the conference’s lead sponsors, will be represented by CEO Victoria Tskhovrebov, while co-sponsors African Chrome Fields will be represented by their national project director, Ashruf Kaka.
In a statement, lead sponsors Liberation Mining said: “Liberation Mining, together with its partners, has a long-term commitment to Zimbabwe’s economy and social development, welcomes current changes in the country’s business environment and is looking forward to further investing in its growth and the prosperity of the people of Zimbabwe”.
Speaking to journalists in Harare on Wednesday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said: “The event will be officially opened by His Excellency, President E.D Mnangagwa and has attracted interest from over 20 countries and we are excited to have engagements with the Zimbabwean mining industry and international investors.”
With the new government’s key message to international investors being “Zimbabwe is open for business”, government officials will address the ease of doing mining business, showcase investment opportunities and discuss mineral value addition, among other issues.
Zimbabwe is endeavouring to be among the most attractive and safest mining investment destinations with clear and predictable investment policies and incentives. In his December 2017 budget statement, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the 51-49 per cent local-foreign shareholding structure shall only apply to diamonds and platinum, allowing foreign investors to now own up to 100 per cent in all other mineral projects.
In a statement, conference hosts MiningReport said: “We are bringing together mining companies, government stakeholders and a broad range of investors including sovereign wealth funds, and the media. Make sure you join us to connect with these key stakeholders. Zimbabwe is on a path to becoming one of the leading mining investment destinations in Africa.”
Zimbabwe’s 800 mines have capacity to earn US$18 billion per annum but were only turning out about US$2 billion annually since 2009. This represents about a tenth of the sector’s full potential and translates to an incredible opportunity for investors, and the government has pledged to create an enabling environment for investors.
The country’s vast mineral wealth includes the second largest platinum and chrome deposits in the world, and the country is the fifth largest producer of lithium in the world.
“We have over 40 different minerals in the country, including diamonds, gold, platinum, chrome, copper, nickel, iron ore and lithium. The country also has rich coal deposits and many other minerals. Research shows that Zimbabwe has six out of 10 of the world’s most valuable minerals.
“This massive resource base creates lucrative opportunities for investors in exploration, mining and beneficiation. So, we are open for business,” Minister Chitando told a mining conference in Cape Town, South Africa, earlier this month.
Zimbabwe has many emerging producers as well as exciting exploration, brownfield and operating projects starved of capital that represent an outstanding opportunity for investors to move in now to reap the rewards in the future.
The mining sector has great scope for growth with the potential to attract USD$12 billion over the next 5 years. Mineral export receipts of $2,5 billion are projected for 2018, up from $2,3 billion in 2017.The mining industry contributes around 13 per cent of gross domestic product and 68 per cent of Zimbabwe’s total export receipts.