Zimbabwe is now within reach of its target of a US$12 billion mining economy by 2030 as the sector continues to record exponential growth, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He said despite having been sceptical about achieving the goal, the ambition was now a reality, with export earnings from the sector having now doubled from US2.9 billion in 2017 to a massive US$5.2 billion recorded in 2021.
The strident growth in the mining industry has been necessitated mainly by the reopening of previously shut mines which include Shamva, Eureka and RioZim Cam coupled by the expansion of operations at existing mines and new mining projects.
Writing in his weekly column “None but Ourselves” published in state media, President Mnangagwa said the mining sector continued to grow despite the prevailing national and global economic setbacks and was poised to reach the US$6 billion mark by year end.
“When Minister Winston Chitando came to Cabinet with his target of US$12 billion mining economy by 2023, I was sceptical. To my mind, this was a case of sheer exuberance by a youthful minister seeking cheap impression through hyperboles. The figures were staked against him,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Yet, barely four years later in 2021, the mining sector earned US$5.2 billion! Its earnings had nearly doubled in those four short years. As I write, the first half of 2022 has seen our earnings from mining at more than US$2.66 billion up from US$1.9 billion achieved during the same period in 2021.
He said a combination of growing export volumes and firming commodity prices internationally made it quite feasible for the country to creep towards a US$6 billion mark this year, which amounts to well in excess of 60 percent of export receipts as an economy.
President Mnangagwa further said that his government would continue to push its drive of reopening old mines, expanding existing ones as well as adding new mining projects to the mix.
“The years between 2017 and now have been years of serious reorganisation in the mining sector. Old mines which had shut have reopened. Eureka, Shamva, Radnor, RioZim Cam and Motor Biox Gold plant and lately Sinomine Bikita Minerals are some of them,” he said.
He said existing mines such as Unki and Zimplats, both working in the platinum sector, continued to expand their operations.