Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
THE mining sector posted a four percent growth in turnover to close 2016 at nearly to $2 billion revenue with prospects looking brighter this year on the back of a rebound in global commodity prices.
This emerged at the 78th Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe annual general meeting and conference, which began here yesterday.
Coming out of the closed AGM session yesterday evening, outgoing Chamber of Mines president, Mr Toindepi Muganyi, said total sector volume of production rose by eight percent last year with gold, platinum and nickel as major drivers. Chrome, he said, holds hope for the future as the mineral has started realising growth since the Government lifted the ban on ore exports two years ago.
Going forward Mr Muganyi stressed the need for proper planning citing previous experiences where the industry would react to international pricing shocks.
“What came out of the AGM are imperatives for mining to prepare for boom out of growth. Sometimes the industry is out of sync with mining cycles because you find where there is a boom people implement strategies for an up-turn and vice versa,” he told journalists.
“It is therefore important that we plan for a boom. Last year there was growth in terms of revenue and volume. Revenue grew by four percent to $1.94 billion while volume of production was at eight percent with gold and other base metals as major contributors.”
Mr Muganyi said it was now up to the mining industry to identify the key causes of growth, which will be discussed at this three-day annual occasion.
“Having experienced this growth the expectation is to find key causes and plan ahead so that the mining industry doesn’t react but respond to the mining cycle. This platform will discuss issues that promote that growth,” he explained.
Mr Muganyi reiterated the importance of domestic investment in mining saying the industry has capacity to contribute sustainably to the economy.
He said some of the key areas of discussion at the conference, which ends tomorrow, include focus on key legislative issues affecting the industry such as the need to conclude amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act.
Meanwhile, the AGM elected new office bearers for the 2017-2018 term with Mr Muganyi assuming the immediate past president position.
The new president is Mr Batirai Manhando (managing director for BMC) who will be deputised by three vice presidents namely Mrs Elizabeth Nerwande-Chibanda from Mimosa, Ken Mekani (Metallon Corporation) and Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa who comes in as honorary vice president.
The theme for the conference is: “Growth to Boom — Key Imperatives for Mining Success.”
Minister Chidhakwa will be the guest of honour in today’s official opening session while Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa will deliver a speech on the importance of the mining sector to the economy under a topic: “Balancing Growth and Contribution to the Fiscus — The New Fiscal Framework for the Mining Industry”.
Other speakers include Central Bank Governor Dr John Mangudya whose address will be on the ease of doing business and the need for reforms in the mining sector. Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Ray Ndhlukula will give an update on the progress on ease of doing business reforms as spearheaded by the President’s Office.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha will give a talk on maximising local content in the mining industry, giving an industrialisation approach.
The programmes outline a number of topics and panel discussions by local and international speakers on issues such as the country’s experiences in building a sustainable mining industry, reaping the benefits of mining investments and solutions to capitalisation challenges in the mining industry.
The annual event provides a platform where stakeholders in the mining industry (including government and the private sector), can effectively engage and dialogue for enhanced growth and sustainable development of the mining industry.