From Liberty Dube in HARARE
THE Government is in the process of resuscitating its own mineral exploration company to augment private sector exploration initiatives, says Vice-President John Nkomo.
Officially opening the mining indaba in Harare on Wednesday, Cde Nkomo, said: "The resuscitation of the government- owned exploration Company, the Mining Promotion Corporation (Pvt) Ltd which will augment private sector exploration initiatives is now at an advanced stage. The corporation will also be open to joint venture initiatives with the private sector."
He said the mining sector had the capacity to sustain double digit growth and had potential to create substantial impetus for economic growth.
"In most of the Southern African Development Community countries, the mining sector plays a critical role in the growth and development of our economies. Aggregately, the mining sector accounts for 60 percent of the region's foreign exchange earnings and contributes an average of 10 percent to the regional GDP. The sector also directly employs approximately five percent of the total wage earners and, historically, the sector has been the major contributor to the development of infrastructure in the region," he said.
He said Government was also finalising the Mines and Mineral Amendments Bill that would be tabled before the expiry of the current Parliamentary session, 'thus putting finality to the long awaited amendments'.
Speaking at the same occasion, a representative of Marange Resources, Mr Mark Mabhudhu, said the diamond mining company would continue putting the interest of locals on the forefront and ensure that locals from Manicaland benefit more from the precious gems.
The company which is a 100 percent local entity has also contributed to a greater extent to the national fiscus through proceeds from the sale of the precious gems it is mining at Chiadzwa.
Mr Mabhudhu said: "We will continue to improve our business community relationships and value corporate social responsibility. We are glad to announce that 74 percent of our staff comes from Manicaland Province, with the 54 percent of that figure being people from Marange area. The other 20 percent comes from around the province. Our focus area this year and beyond has been on safety, health and environment, security of product and KPCS compliance, attraction/retention of requisite skills, business optimisation and resource evaluation, product marketing and business growth (plan, build and operate)," he said.
Mr Mabhudhu said the company was also pursuing corporate responsibility programmes such as infrastructural development, food security for relocated people, assisting in health and medical services.
Incisive presentations by an array of distinguished presenters from Zimbabwe and beyond described the three-day indaba which is running under the theme: "The indaba was running under the theme: "Making it happen in the Mining sector in Africa" as successful.