Treasury has availed $5 million capital to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to enable the Mining Promotion Corporation to start operations, a senior Government official has said. The newly formed MPC will ensure an increase in exploration activities and development of an inventory of bankable projects that can be marketed to potential local and international investors.
Commissioning the MPC board yesterday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said Government was ready to create a platform for exploration and mineral development.
“I can confirm the willingness and commitment of the ministry to support the work of MPC including provision of the initial $5 million injection needed to kick start the work,” Minister Chidhakwa said.
“I can safely tell you that we know where to get the money and we are only waiting for regulatory approvals from the Treasury,” he said.
“This company should make sure that identified (mineral) deposits will be allocated to State institutions and made available to private organisations for optimised sustainable development and operations for the benefit of the nation,” the mines minister said yesterday.
Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga will chair the board on interim basis.
The other board members are Mr David Murangari, Mr Ambrose Made, Professor Amon Murwira, Mrs Bertha Muzangaza, Mr Brains Muchemwa, Mr Mabasa Hawadi and Ms Catherine Machokoto.
MPC’s main role would be to quantify the amount of gold, diamonds, platinum, graphite and iron ore resources the country has.
The minister said the company will anchor the generation of geological database for use by the industry right away and in the future.
Minister Chidhakwa added that his ministry is in an unenviable position where some private sector organisations know more about the country’s minerals deposits than the Government.
Operationalisation of mineral exploration company will enable Government to get more geological data as well as mineral knowledge.
“Many of us claim that Zimbabwe is the richest country on earth with respect to untapped natural resources, therefore this move will enable us to evaluate the country’s minerals,” said the minister.
He said that the mineral information will give investors information on operations and open room for new investment in Zimbabwe. It will also complement efforts undertaken by the private sector.
In an interview with The Herald Business last year, Chamber of Mines ex-chief executive Mr John Chikombero said the minerals sector is vastly under-explored hence the need for investment in exploration.
The country lacked modern technology to explore and create a mineral database. Zimbabwe is endowed with over 40 different minerals.