Government has committed itself towards ensuring Zimbabweans derive maximum benefit from the countryâ€™s mineral resources.
The Cabinet decision on Tuesday giving the state 100% ownership of alluvial diamond mining activities and a 10% community share from mineral proceeds is anticipated to give the countryâ€™s citizens greater control of their mineral resources as well as ensure sustainable economic development.Â
The countryâ€™s mining sector is anticipated to anchor the economic resurgence with a projected 44% growth in 2011.
However, most of the revenue earned from miming activities in general does not get into state coffers.
The situation for diamonds is slightly better with US$30 million dividend declared for example, from the US$56 million realized from the inaugural sale of the Marange diamonds in August.Â
Resources such as diamonds and other minerals are finite and get exhausted, hence the need to derive maximum benefit from their exploitation.
It is against this background that the decision by Cabinet for a 100% stake by government in the mining of alluvial diamonds as well as a 10% entitlement of gross profit from all mining operations by local is being hailed as a solution towards sustainable economic development.
Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, Cde. Saviour Kasukuwere says the development is critical in ensuring that the countryâ€™s resources are utilised in the interest of the indigenous people.Â
Mining has been considered a capital intensive business requiring sound human, technological and financial capital.
The question many people have is whether government has the capacity to optimally utilise the mineral resources.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, Cde Edward Chindori-Chininga as well as the ZMDC Chairperson, Goodwills Masimirembwa both concurÂ that the country has the ability to fully exploit the resources given the fact that alluvial diamonds can be mined using less sophisticated technology.Â
Zimbabwe Miners Federation President, Mr. Trynos Nkomo, says the 10% Community Share Ownership Scheme is essential in ensuring that communities have a greater stake from mining activities and called for a coordinated approach in the implementation of the cabinet decision.
Some of the Cabinet decisions include maintaining the minimum 51% local ownership on other minerals, including non-alluvial diamonds and the setting up of an independent entity to mine diamonds on behalf of government.
The country has pinned its hopes for socio-economic transformation on the maximum exploitation of the over 60 000 hectare Marange diamond fields.