Mining investors laud Zim’s policy shift

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Mining investors laud Zim’s policy shift

THE SouthernTIMES Mar 19, 2018

    Kuda Bwititi

    Mining investors attending the Zimbabwe Mining Investment Conference in Harare this week applauded the government for providing the necessary reforms to improve the investment climate in the country.  

    This comes in the wake of the growing popularity of the ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ clarion call, which is part of a broad range of measures being implemented by the government to woo capital.

    With mining having been identified as the centrepiece of Zimbabwe’s economy, a significant number of investment commitments have come from the mineral sector amid reports that about US$7 billion is required for mining production to achieve optimum capacity.

    Zimbabwe has more than 60 minerals, with research showing that the Southern African country boasts six of the world’s top ten most valuable mineral resources-thereby creating lucrative opportunities for investors in exploration, resource extraction and beneficiation.

    Since President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into power in November, mining investors have been smitten by his pro-business stance, which has also seen the repeal of the indigenisation policy, improving the ease of doing business and clampdown on corruption among other seismic policy shifts.

    Different speakers at the mining conference held from 27-28 February said Zimbabwe is on the right part to transform its economic fortunes if it maintains its current drive to attract capital.

    Addressing the mining conference in Harare on Tuesday, Prospect Resources Executive Director, Duncan Harry Greaves, said his company ‑ which is targeting to invest more than US$200 million for its lithium project in the country ‑ had received encouraging support from the government.

    “We have had significant support from government on the project that we are setting up here. Since the new dispensation came in, the support from government has taken a quantum leap.

    “We are having weekly meetings with government officials and the Minister (Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando) has an open-door policy, which enables us to interact and get things going.

    “Authorities have been extremely proactive and helpful. I can assure those who are looking for opportunities in Zimbabwe’s mining sector that the authorities are doing the right things.

    “This is an extremely exciting environment to be operating in,” he said.

    In an interview on the sidelines of the mining conference, South Africa’s businessman and chief executive of Rostrum Trading Platform said he was encouraged by the reforms in President Mnangagwa’s government

    “I am here as in investor who is very interested in Zimbabwe. I am targeting to invest in chrome and Zimbabwe is a very exciting prospect for us.

    “We are very encouraged to invest in the country and we want to work with this government. The messages that they are sending are the exact guarantees that we need.”

    In his address during a panel discussion, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Munesu Munodawafa, said:

    “From the top level, we want to reiterate that Zimbabwe is open for business. The biggest opportunity that is there in Zimbabwe right now is that we have the mineral resources, which are one of the biggest in the world, whether real or inferred.

    “We also now have a responsive leadership that is improving the ease of doing business. Processes that were taking months in the previous Government are now taking just days to complete.

    “We will continue to support the policy guidance that we have to make it easier for investors to put money into our country.”

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