According to Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, the Zimbabwean Mining Industry is expected to have a great boom by 2023. This is a result of the Airborne Mineral Exploration project in Chivi and Mwenezi districts in Masvingo Province.
Speaking at the commissioning of the exploration project at Buffalo Range Airport yesterday, Minister Chitando said the diamonds will be a massive support to Zimbabwe’s Mining Industry. In fact, diamonds alone will contribute $1 billion a year to the Zimbabwean Mining Industry by 2023.
“As part of the contribution to the country’s Vision 2030 of creating a middle-income economy, the mining industry is destined to increase in size from a mere $2,7 billion industry attained in 2017 to a $12 billion industry by 2023,” he said.
“It is a important milestone which Government is working on towards the attainment of the Vision 2030 and with that $12 billion industry by end of 2023, diamonds will contribute $1 billion at least.”
Minister Chitando further stated that the Zimbabwean government was already implementing the diamond policy hinged on value addition and beneficiation. “In terms of the development of the Diamond Industry, last year we produced 2,8 million carats and the whole idea is for this to go up to at least 10 million carats by the year 2023. I said at least (10 million) because that projection is based on geologically proven sites and with the exploration which is now taking place, who knows what can happen?,” he said. “This event is important in the sense that exploration activities of this nature would enable us to improve our diamond production beyond the 10 million carats.”
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Ezra Chadzamira echoes Minister CHitando’s statements. In his address, he stated that diamond exploration project was key to the province’s quest to create employment.
“Under the thrust of devolution, Mining and Minerals Development sector provides a larger percentage towards the attainment of Masvingo’s Gross Domestic Product. As such, exploration of diamonds in Mwenezi and Chiredzi districts gives us scientific grounds to plan for our people, industrialisation, modernisation and development.” He continues, “Masvingo, therefore, stands ready to beneficiate, value add, market diamonds and related products in manner that seeks to see local communities participating and benefiting.”
Beyond its output, this the advent of diamond mining in Mwenezi and Chiredzi will also curb illegal border jumping into neighbouring South Africa by unemployed youths. Job creation will keep youths in Zimbabwe and give them employment and purpose. Minister Chadzamira argues that, “Rutenga and Sango Border Post growth point will expand because of the envisaged diamond mining in southern Masvingo.” As a result, “The exploration of diamonds for mining purposes in these two districts will bring new diversified economic activities in Mwenezi and Chiredzi districts.” Minister Chadzamira concludes by stating that, “The mining activities will result in economic transformation of the Lowveld towards massive rural development,” said Minister Chadzamira.
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