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Mining potential in Zimbabwe lure investors

Zimbabwe's mining sector is growing by 100%

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Winston Chitando, dazzled the investors at the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba with his presentation of the numerous opportunities existing in Zimbabwe’s mining industry.

In his speech, the minister highlighted the wealth of investment prospects in the mining industry, including those in exploration, mineral extraction, mineral processing, equipment and consumables supply.

He presented all of the geological potential for the investors and described the country’s geological map.

“Zimbabwe possesses exceptional, distinctive, and very promising geology. It has extensive greenstone belts rich in industrial minerals, basic metals, valuable stones, and precious metals, according to Minister Chitando.

“The country also hosts the Great Dyke Precambrian sedimentary basins rich in placer gold and diamond deposits Karoo basins rich in coal, coal bed methane gas (CBM), natural gas and uranium Metamorphic belts rich in pegmatite minerals such as lithium, tantalite, rare earth elements,” he continued.

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Chitando also represented the mineral potential highlighting that Zimbabwe has some of the richest greenstone belts in the world.

“The country has Over 4 000 recorded gold deposits, all of them located on ancient workings. More than 90% of gold deposits in Zimbabwe are associated with greenstone belts which are considered to be some of the richest in the world,” the Minister said.

“Zimbabwe hosts the second largest platinum group metals resource in the world on the great dyke. Potential outside the great dyke is still to be investigated,” he continued.

“The Zimbabwe craton is comparable to the Kaapvaal, the Siberia, the Slave, and the Congo cratons; and has huge potential for economic kimberlites. At least 160 kimberlites have been discovered in Zimbabwe, most of which are yet to be evaluated.

The Minister also indicated that there was a potential for Coalbed methane (CBM) development due to vast coal deposits.

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“Zimbabwe has large reserves of both thermal and coking coal in the mid-Zambezi basin and the Save-Limpopo basin, with more than 26 billion tonnes of coal resource.

“The country’s deep-seated coal deposits offer huge opportunities for Coalbed methane (CBM) development. Conservative estimates for the Lupane area indicate gas resources in excess of 100 million cubic metres,” he continued.

“Zimbabwe hosts one of the world’s largest resources of high-grade metallurgical quality chromite along the Great Dyke and the Greenstone belts. Significant resources are also found in the Greenstone belts – Shurugwi, Belingwe, and Mashava,” said Hon Chitando.

He then touched on the most sort after mineral in Zimbabwe today, Lithium, outlining the current projects.

“The country hosts some of the world’s largest lithium deposits. Lithium Mining projects in the country include Bikita Minerals in Masvingo Province, Arcadia Lithium Project in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East Province, Zulu Lithium in Matabeleland South, Kamativi mine in Matabeleland North and Sabi Star in Buhera, Manicaland,” Chitando said on Lithium.

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“The country has high nickel prospectively with more than 30 deposits having been discovered,” the Minister continued.

He also alerted the audience on the occurrences of huge commercial deposits of Rare Earth Elements.

“Zimbabwe has huge potential for REE. Though there has not been systematic exploration for REE, there are prospects with information suggesting possible occurrences of huge commercial deposits of REE.

The Minister also presented opportunities available in mineral processing and beneficiation.

“The main thrust is on mineral beneficiation along the mining value chain to convert the country’s mineral resources into a catalyst for economic growth. The country has huge mineral resource endowments to support the development of local value chains: Gold, Diamonds, Semi-precious Stones – Jewellery

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“Manufacturing Chromite, Iron, Nickel, Carbon (from coal) – steel manufacturing and downstream engineering products Hydrocarbons (Coal+ CBM) – power generation, petrochemicals and fertilisers

“Graphite, Lithium – battery manufacturing industry ceramic industry Phosphates – manufacture of fertilizers.”

Hon Chitando said that the country has a highly diversified mineral endowment, therefore Investment opportunities exist across the entire mining value chain as follows,

Exploration – both brownfield and greenfield. The country is still under-explored and there is huge potential for new discoveries, particularly using modern exploration techniques.

Mining and Extraction – most of the mines are using antiquated machinery and require retooling to increase efficiency and productivity.

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Across linkages with the entire economy – These include local value addition; support services such as supplies of mining equipment and consumables, financial services, management and consultancy.

This concluded the minister’s speech. Many interested prospects then lined up to learn more from the Minister who has had busy days since his appearance at the Indaba.

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