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Mines minister gives mining progress report to parly

by Stephen Jakes
19 Mar 2020 at 09:09hrs | Views
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has given a mining progress report  to the house of assembly in which the government has aspirations to achieve  the $12 billion by 2023  and also the possible implications of EPO's with respect to that achievement.

Chitando said the 2019 mineral revenue was $3, 2 billion up from $2, 9 million in 2018.

"The $12 billion milestones for 2023 were set on detailed projections and targets by minerals.   The Hon. Members asked for an update and projections and I hereby respond, giving that update and projections by mineral. Gold output increased in 2018 to 33 tonnes compared to twenty six and half tonnes in 2017.  There was however, a decrease to 27, 6 tonnes in 2019.  A number of interventions are being put in place to ensure there is an increase in gold deliveries not only 2020 but to achieve the 100 tonnes target by 2023.   A detailed statement on gold will be released before the end of April," he said.

"Diamond sector performance - diamonds are expected to contribute $1 billion towards the $12 billion target for the mining industry by 2023.   A $165 million was realised from the diamond sector in 2019 compared to 98 million in 2018.  The following are interventions being put in place to achieve an increase in 2020 and achievement of the $1 billion by 2023."

Chitando said  ZCDC is earmarked to sustainably increase production. He said in line with the diamond policy Anjin has started production;

"ARUSA which is the largest producer of diamonds in the world in already on the ground evaluating a number of sites to commence production;  and   Government is working on improvements in the marketing framework. The platinum industry is expected to contribute $3 billion as part of its contribution towards the $12 billion mining industry by 2023.  This contribution is centered on expansion and new production as follows:-the three producers being Unkie, Zimplats and Mimosa are all undertaking expansion and optimisation projects," he said.

"Great Dyke investments have started opening a mining area and it is scheduled to produce its first concentrate in 2021. Carol Resources are ready to commence project work on the 1st portal having undertaken extensive evaluation work. Bravura is on the ground undertaking evaluation work.  Discussions with Todal are advanced for them to get into project phase; actually they had a board meeting sometime this week – that is on the PGM sector."

He said the chrome, nickel and steel sector is earmarked to achieve $1 billion by 2023.

"This achievement will largely be through increased falcon production   from 369 000 tonnes of ferro chrome in 2018 to 1, 1 million tonnes in 2023.  Various expansion projects are underway by ZIMASCO, ZIMALLOYS, JINAN and AFROSHEEN and a few other players," Chitando said.

"Since launch of the $12 billion milestones, three new furnaces have been completed, operational and ready for official commissioning.  Government has now released additional mining ground to an additional ore to be generated to feed the smelters."

He said the next sector is on coal, coal and hydro carbons is targeted to contribute $I billion towards the $12 billion target by 2023 and this achievement is underpinned by two main initiatives.

"Increase in coke production, from 300 000 tones in 2018 to 2,1 million tonnes in 2023. Increase in thermal coal production for electricity generation. Massive success has been achieved in this sub-sector as follows; A new coke oven battery was commissioned late last year; Three new mines will be opened this year; and   three new coke ovens are under construction," he said.

"The next sub-sector is lithium. The milestone for lithium is $500 million by 2023. Bikita Minerals is in steady production whilst project work at Kamativi and Arcadia lithium is going quite well. A US$1, 5 million target was set for other minerals. This will be achieved through a number of initiatives on various minerals but specifically, there will be a launch in the next two months of an initiative in granite and gemstones."

"I now turn to EPOs Madam Speaker. The EPO system has been characterised by non-processing of EPOs for a number of years which has reduced the ground available for pegging. A new mining affairs board was appointed and has been directed to review and process all EPO applications with the status.".   

He said there are 12 EPOs which are due for renewable and which will be
 subject to the holders satisfying the original conditions of grant.

"There are 24 applications which have been processed right now Madam Speaker, and the indications are that there will be significant ground for them to be released as a number of them have not been approved. Thirty applications were gazetted for objections on 11th October, 2019 and now being finalised," Chitando said.

"There are 30 applications which have already been rejected by the mining affairs body and the respective ground will be freed by mid of April. There are three new EPO applications which have been received since 1st January, 2020 but which have not been processed."

Source - Byo24News

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