By Nkosana Dlamini
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government continues with its bid to woo foreign investors into the country with Mines Minister Winston Chitando set to lead a local delegation of officials to a Zimbabwe mining investment conference in London this Monday.
Several eminent locals and key decision makers from both government and the broader business society have been lined up to present during the high profile indaba, set for the 5 Star Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel in the British capital.
Speakers include Minister Chitando himself; Will Kennedy, who is Managing Editor EMEA, Bloomberg; Algy Cluff, who chairs Cluff Natural Resources; Batairai Manhando, President Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe and Amanda Van Dyke, South River Asset Management CEO.
Also lined up to present are Manji Cheto, who is Primary Markets Business Development Manager, London Stock Exchange Group; Andrew Moorfield, Co-head of Investment Banking and Head of Natural Resources, Exotix Partners as well as Anders Alfredson, Head of Mining and Metals, London Standard Bank Group.
Companies operating in Zimbabwe that are also presenting include Stanbic Bank, Vast Resources, Prospect Resources, Botswana Diamonds, Invictus Energy and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe.
“The event features 120 delegates, investors, government and industry stakeholders who will highlight mining investment opportunities in Zimbabwe,” reads a statement by conference organisers, Mining Report.
It further adds, “The Zimbabwe Mining Investments Conference 2018 will discuss as well as showcase the vast investment opportunities in Zimbabwe’s growing mining sector.
“The government is committed to supporting and protecting investors, ALL FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ZIMBABWE IS 100% SAFE.
“Zimbabwe is endeavouring to be amongst the most attractive and safest mining investment destinations with clear and predictable investments policies and incentives.
“Foreign Investors can now own up to 100% in all mining projects with the exception of platinum and diamonds.”
The mineral rich country has 800 mines with potential to earn $18 billion per annum.
However, only about $2 billion has been made annually since 2009.
Said Mining Report, “This is a small fraction of the sector’s full potential and translates to incredible opportunity for investors.
“Zimbabwe’s gold reserves are among the largest in Africa, and its diamond reserves are also believed to be in the top five globally.
“The country is home to the second-largest platinum deposits, and it is the 5th-largest producer of lithium in the world, and has over 60 minerals.
“Zimbabwe will achieve solid mining sector growth in 2018. Gold, chrome and platinum production will be the main drivers of expansion, while growth in diamond output will be moderate.
“Gold production will continue to increase in part by the work of small-scale miners.”
The mining conference is coming hard on the heels of yet another high profile Zimbabwe investment forum in London which was themed, “Unlocking Value Through Fresh Perspectives”. Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira led the Zimbabwean delegation.
President Mnangagwa is keen to see a return of foreign investors who were forced to close shop during the height of the country’s political crisis past 18 years.
The period saw the now defunct Robert Mugabe led regime violently seize productive land from white Zimbabweans of European dissent with properties protected under international treaties also affected.
A militant section of the country’s former liberators also embarked on a campaign to seize companies while government also came under fire for introducing black empowerment policies that compelled foreign owned firms operating in Zimbabwe to surrender at least 51 equity to locals.
Under his “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra, Mnangagwa has set the tone to try and repair the damage caused by his predecessor.