Government says it is ready to work with mining companies in mobilising at least $6 billion required towards the setting up of mineral refinery plants with a view to increasing export receipts.The commitment by government to work with mining companies comes at a time when the mining sector is being called on to process raw mineral products into finished commodities.
This came out at the 10th anniversary celebrations for a locally-based platinum mining firm in the capital.
The PermanentÂ Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and MiningÂ Development, Mr. Prince Mupazviriho said that government will soon engage the mining sector on modalities to mobilise capital for the establishment of mineral refinery plants in order to consolidate the mining industryâ€™s position as the second largestÂ contributor to economic growth after agriculture.
â€œWe are working on that plan and we hope this will really work in the future for the benefit of the sector,â€ Mr. Mupazviriho said.
Zimplats Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alex Mhembere said while the company plans to set up a refinery plant possibly by 2015 depending on production volumes, it is in the interest of the mining sector to focus on value addition, a process of transforming raw materials into finished goods with a view to increasing the industryâ€™s competitiveness in the regional and international markets.
â€œWe are really committed to that policy as it will in the future consolidate operations for the sector,â€ Mr. Mhembere said.
Zimbabweâ€™s mining industry which is on a recovery path is however experiencing capitalÂ constraints that are hindering efforts to restore business confidence and re-opening of mines that had shut down amid calls by experts for the provision of long term loans at concessionary interest rates.