Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
GOVERNMENT is confident the country’s target for a US$4 billion gold industry by 2023 is achievable riding on increased production by companies such as Caledonia Mining Corporation.
Speaking at an event to mark Caledonia’s official listing on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) yesterday, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura said the Blanket Mine parent company alone has set a target of producing 80 000 ounces of gold per annum, which will go a long way in meeting the country’s set milestones.
Caledonia has in the past five years been working on a 1 200-metre deep central shaft, funded to the tune of US$67 million.
The latest capital investment is set to increase capacity for production build-up to 80 000 ounces from next year onwards.
“It is my pleasure to express my excitement that one of our own mines is now listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange. This is a feature on our cap and we are excited to note that we have quality investors like Caledonia who lead by example and believe great things coming from our great nation,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
“The ministry has set a milestone on achieving a US$12 billion mining industry by the year 2023 through a roadmap that was launched by Your Excellency in October 2019.
“In line with that trajectory we are very encouraged that the set milestones will come to fruition through such initiatives as this listing from our mines on the VFEX.
“I am pleased to confirm that Caledonia Mining Corporation will contribute significantly to the achievement of the US$4 billion gold sector contribution to the milestone.”
He said Zimbabwe was endowed with vast gold mineral resources among other minerals and commended President Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming the country into an upper middle-income society by 2030.
With improvement to the proportion of gold and access to 100 percent United States dollars revenue for increased gold sales, Caledonia will continue to shine, said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
He told delegates how he visited Caledonia operations some time ago to assess progress on the Central Shaft as the company has expanded and was ready to increase production.
“As I stand here today, I am pleased to report that the operation is on target to produce 80 000 ounces of gold starting next year. What we observed is that the operations will catapult the company to the set targets.
“We are delighted to note that from the company’s announcement of this Victoria Falls Stock Exchange listing, it has received extremely positive local Zimbabwe interest and to that end Caledonia has now earned more capital than originally anticipated,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
He said this was clear testimony of the confidence investors have on Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination. The Government has pledged to continue providing a conducive stable mining environment and wider ease of doing business for all.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said the establishment of the VFEX was an opportunity and platform for local investors and for growth of local exchange.
“Your continued guidance and timeous policy intervention has seen exponential growth and increased appetite for people to invest in Zimbabwe.
It is under the Second Republic that we have seen opening of new mines and expansion of production such as Caledonia,” he said. “We thank VFEX for this and we will be calling for a meeting starting with gold producers for them to get to know the benefits of getting listed.”
Deputy Minister Kambamura said the 2019 strategic roadmap where Government set targets for a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 had provided a beacon of hope for the economy and its outcome is the benchmarking of how mining companies are performing.
He called on the mining industry to remain resilient while also urging coal mining companies domiciled in Matabeleland North to also consider listing on the VFEX and transform the province into the best in the country in terms of the economy. – @ncubeleon