By Staff Reporter & Agencies
INDIA’s Cabinet has approved an agreement with Zimbabwe which will see the two countries cooperating in the fields of geology, mining and mineral resources.
A statement released by the government of India Thursday confirmed the development.
“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Zimbabwe for cooperation in the field of geology, mining and mineral resources. The MoU was signed on November 3, 2018 at Harare, Zimbabwe,” the statement said.
The approval follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed last month in Harare during a visit to the country by Indian vice president Venkaiah Naidu.
The two countries agreed to increase exchange of information on resources, laws and policy, organisation of seminars, encouragement of transfer of technologies between the parties, promotion of value addition and opportunities for investment in the mining sector.
As a follow-up of the agreement, a 20-member delegation of Indian investors would be visiting Zimbabwe early next year to explore investment opportunities in the African nation in areas of mining and minerals, government officials said.
Sources in Indian government said several changes in the Zimbabwean mining industry since change of government in Harare had been taken positively, leading to the bi-lateral agreement, particularly the legislative environment that removed the clause of mandatory local listing of foreign mining companies.
The source said that since a government-to-government framework had been established between the two countries it was expected that Indian State-run mining companies like Coal India Limited, Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) and Mineral Exploration Company Limited (MECL) would take the lead in following up the bi-lateral collaboration agreement.
In fact, the newly floated joint venture of Nalco, HCL and MECL, christened Khanij Videsh India Limited, exclusively dedicated to scout for mineral investment opportunities overseas and diversify from existing operations of each of these joint venture partners was expected to start diligence into investments windows in Zimbabwe following the approval of the bi-lateral agreement.