Mthuli Ncube confident of $12 billion dollar minerals industry by 2023

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By Leopold Munhende

FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube has expressed confidence he could steer the country’s mining industry into a lucrative US$12 billion one by 2023.

Speaking to journalists at his New Government Complex offices in Harare Friday, Ncube said government was excited about the prospects.

“The mining sector is really a source of excitement for us. We are trying to build a US$12 billion industry by year 2023 and it is being constructed as I speak, brick by brick, bottom up,” Ncube said.

“The gold sector will become a US$4 billion industry, platinum sector a US$3 billion industry, the lithium sector a half a billion dollar industry, the diamond sector will be a billion dollar industry, the iron and steel and chrome industry another billion, the hydro carbons and gas sectors another billion.

“The other sectors about one and a half billion, so a total of 12 billion that we are expecting this sector to achieve by year 2023.”

Zimbabwe has the second largest reserves of gold, standing at a proven 13 million tonnes but a dip in investments within the sector has seen a steady drop in revenue realised.

Ncube said mining of the precious minerals will be supported through government’s Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

He announced during his recent budget presentation a reduction in royalties for gold from 15% to 10%.

Endowed with a wide range of precious minerals, government’s opaque dealings especially in diamond mining in Marange and Chiadzwa and alleged capturing of gold rich areas in the Midlands Province by top state officials has seen them not benefit the ordinary citizen.

Memoranda of Agreements (MoUs) signed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa by Russians and Chinese on mineral explorations, mining and beneficiation are yet to materialise.