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THERE is a need to scale up exploration activities to unlock mineral value and the Government remains committed to capacitating mining companies to ensure improved output and realisation of a US$12 billion mining milestone by 2023.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, said this yesterday at the ongoing annual mining conference, which is being hosted by the Chamber of Mines here.

He said mechanisms were being put in place to incentivise exploration activities that will unlock the discovery of more minerals.

Zimbabwe is already seized with oil and gas exploration in Muzarabani. The Cabora Bassa Basin was identified as a potential petroleum production zone in the country.

“This is an opportunity to critically explore the potential that exists in Zimbabwe’s oil and gas mining industry, to share experiences in developing a world-class oil and gas mining industry leveraging on the gains from our economic reforms, engagement and re-engagement with the international community. The oil and gas sector is one among other resources that have the potential to contribute towards the speedy attainment of our national vision to become an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Mines indaba in Vic Falls

“Given the strategic importance of oil and gas in Zimbabwe, my ministry is strategically monitoring and evaluating the progress made in terms of exploration of this strategic minerals occurrence in Muzarabani.”

Minister Chitando was officiating at the first segment of the conference focused on oil and gas, which ran under the theme:

“Revealing Zimbabwe’s Old and Gas potential.”

The minister said the discovery of gas and oil has the scope to promote forward and backward linkages across the mining sector and that the Government was geared to support these projects.

He commended the role played by the Chamber of Mines and private sector in partnering the Government towards potential achievement of sustainable oil and gas exploration and mining development in Zimbabwe.

The mining sector is a vital cog to sustainable socio-economic development in Zimbabwe. As such Minister Chitando said Zimbabwe was inspired by other countries, especially in the Middle East whose economies are sustained by oil and gas business.

The Government is pushing for a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, which will be characterised by optimum investment and output levels in all mineral commodities. One of the key deliverables towards achieving a US$12 billion industry is scaling up exploration activities.

“If Zimbabwe is to make the successful discovery of this mineral, our country will be set to steadily improve her position and make an impact in the global supply chains. My ministry is, therefore, committed to sustainably explore and develop the oil and gas mining endeavour in Muzarabani,”

said Minister Chitando.

“My ministry is, therefore, focused on turning the fortunes of the mining sector through various strategies to achieve the set milestones.”

He acknowledged threats posed by Covid-19 on the performance of the mining sector towards realising its goals but urged industry players to navigate the turbulent times.

President Mnangagwa is set to officially open the conference today under the main theme:

“Navigating turbulent times — Sustaining growth of the mining industry beyond Covid-19”. — @ncubeleon.

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