By Alois Vinga
GOVERNMENT has announced that through various programs taken to refocus the nation’s mining sector, $12 billion will be injected into the economy by year 2023 in a development that will bolster economic growth and downstream value addition.
Addressing delegates at the Mining and Agricultural Breakfast Interface on the sidelines of the ongoing Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Winstone Chitando underlined that the set targets will be achieved.
“Last year mining contributed $2.6 billion dollars and owing to work currently underway, the target of $12 billion will achieved by 2023.Growth is expected to be underpinned by the diamond sector.
Conglomerates output is expected to rise. In 2017, 26 tonnes of gold were produced and we are expecting an increase which will see us achieving a target of 35 tonnes by year end and over 100 tonnes by 2023,” he said.
Chitando noted that government is also working on development of various minerals policies and highlighted that final touches were being laid on lithium development.
“Currently, the lithium development policy is now at an advanced stage and this will see investment in the mineral. So far Zimbabwe has been producing lithium concentrate hence the plans to value add lithium concentrate into lithium carbonate,” he noted.
In a speech read by the principal director in the vice president’s office, Petros Ndlovu on behalf of Kembo Mohadi, the agricultural and mining sectors were urged to work together towards creating wealth for the nation.
“While mining and agriculture can compete for key inputs such as land ,water and labour, the two sectors also rely on each other to prosper .To maximize the positive and mitigate the negative consequences, agriculture and mining must work together to create sustainable pro-poor development.
“As government, we realise that this requires clear policy frameworks and industrial strategies….” said Mohadi.
He said that government was encouraged to see players converge to discuss and provide solutions on how land can be used productively to enhance both mining and agriculture.