Mining Sector Presentation By His Excellency Joe Tapera Mhishi Zimbabwe’s Ambassador To Australia, On The Occasion of Africa Down Under Mining Conference, 4-6 November, 2020, Perth, Australia
Mining is the major attraction in Zimbabwe with over 60 international tradeable minerals. Yet only ten of those are fully mined, demonstrating the wealth of mineral resources for greenfield investments in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s 800 mines have capacity to earn US$18 billion per annum but were only churning out about US$2 billion annually since 2009. This represents about a tenth of the sector’s full potential and translates to an incredible opportunity for Australian and other investors.
The government of Zimbabwe has continued to adopt and implement investor friendly policies focused on reassuring and restoring investor confidence in order to boost foreign direct investments.
- Current Level of Mining Industry Activity
Zimbabwe earned close to US$2 billion from mineral exports in the first nine months of 2020, a figure 24 percent above set target. This is according to a report released by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ). This revenue earned excludes gold and silver both whose export marketing and sales is not controlled by the MMCZ. Gold and silver in the period under review enjoyed good earnings on the global market.
Several mining projects are at various stages of implementation, including the US$2 billion Great Dyke Investment in platinum and the US$4.2 billion Karo resources platinum project in the Mhondoro-Ngezi district of Zimbabwe.
- National Mining Sector Production Target
As Government focuses on turning Zimbabwe into an Upper Middle Income Country by 2030, a US$12 billion mining sector annual exports is targeted from 2023. This is based on greenfield investments and expansion work on some of the existing mining projects (the brownfield investments).
By 2030, a US$20 billion mining sector is on government’s working program.
- Mineral Resources Endowments in Zimbabwe
- Platinum: Zimbabwe has the second highest deposits of platinum in the world.
- Lithium: The growing global demand for lithium and the push for lithium battery powered electrical cars has created a lucrative market for lithium.
Zimbabwe has the potential to produce 20 percent of the world’s lithium. Australia’s Prospect Resources is investing in the Arcadia lithium project some 40 kms out of Harare.
Oil: Another Australian company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Invictus Private Ltd has invested in oil exploration and extraction in the Muzarabani area north of Zimbabwe. The company is preparing to drill its pilot hole for oil extraction.
I therefore invite many other Australian mining companies to join these Australian mining investors already in Zimbabwe. These have discovered the ‘gold’ in Zimbabwe’s mining industry.
Mineral Belts: Zimbabwe is endowed with mineral belts and the major ones include:
- The Great Dyke belt (P.G.Ms., chrome, gold etc.),
- Coal fields that include Beit Bridge-Gokwe-Hwange belt;
- The Marange diamond fields.
- Minerals in Zimbabwe
|1.||Gold||13 million tonnes|
|2.||Platinum||2.8 billion tonnes. Expected to contribute US$3 bln a year|
|3.||Chromite||930 million tonnes|
|4.||Coal||26 billion tonnes|
|5.||Nickel||4.5 million tonnes|
|6.||Diamonds||16.5 million tonnes|
|7.||Iron Ore||30 billion tonnes|
|8.||Copper||5.2 million tonnes|
|9.||Coal Bed Methane||Largest known reserves in Southern Africa, exploration work ongoing.|
Coal: Zimbabwe is endowed with huge coal resources. In 2019 the country produced 8 million tonnes of coal.
Great potential exists in the extraction of coal bed methane.
Rare Earth elements: Zimbabwe recently discovered it has a sizeable base of Rare Earth Elements, metals which are much sought after in the global electronics industry.
- Foreign investors are free to invest in the mining value chain which includes:
- provision of finance and technical services,
- beneficiation and value edition.
- Foreign Ownership in the Mining Sector in Zimbabwe
Foreign investors are allowed to own 100% shareholding for mining operations in all other minerals except for platinum and diamonds for which the foreign investor is expected to jointly own with the Government on a 49/51 % basis in favor of Government.
For more details on the above, download the Investment Guidelines and Opportunities in Zimbabwe document (http://www.zimfa.gov.zw/index.php/media-centre/downloads?download=8:investment-guidelines-and-opportunities-in-zimbabwe)
- Four ways of owning mining industry assets in Zimbabwe
- Mining Claims: 10-40 hectares
- Special Mining Grant: up to 60 hectares and even more
- Mining Lease: where claims lie in a contiguous location. Instead of say administering 25 seperate claims these are combined under one administrative asset under a Mining Lease
- Special Mining Lease: for mining assets of value US$100 million and above
- Adoption of the ‘Use it Or Lose it’ Policy Opens Opportunities for new Serious Mining Investors
The Government of Zimbabwe, in a bid to increase the contribution of Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector to the country’s GDP, has adopted the Use it Or Lose it Policy.
This policy forces companies to develop their mining concessions instead of keeping them for speculative purposes.
A lot of mining concessions are held by individuals who it has been established do not have capacity to exploit the mines under the concessions they hold.
Some of these unused claims held for speculative purposes date back to the 1950s and 60s.
The Mines and Minerals Act of Zimbabwe empowers the Government to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets.
Since adoption of the Use it or Lose it Policy, 32 out of 213 concessions targeted in the first phase, had been surrendered to Government by end the of September 2020.
This policy in the coming months will see more mining opportunities opened up to serious mining investors. Australian investors are invited to apply for such claims if they are ready to invest in the mining sector in Zimbabwe.
- Energy Supply in Zimbabwe – Hwange Power Station
- Energy is a critical enabler for the success of the mining industry the world over. The Zimbabwean economy that in the past year battled with energy shortages, has finally addressed energy supply. The country recently moved out of the load shedding mode.
- Furthermore, new energy projects being carried out will see Zimbabwe become a net energy exporter as early as 2023. The Hwange Power Station, Zimbabwe’s biggest coal fired power station, is undergoing a US$1.5 billion expansion scheduled for completion in 2022. This will see an addition of 600 MW giving the power station generating capacity of 1.520 MW.
- The expansion work is being carried out by a special – purpose vehicle (SPV) comprising the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), and Sino-hydro, a Chinese state owned hydropower engineering and construction company.
- The Batoka Gorge Hydro-power Project
The Batoka Gorge Hydo-power Station, is a US$ 4.5 billion and 2 400 MW project shared between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is due for completion in 2026, and will add 1 200 MW to Zimbabwe’s energy supply.
- Relations Between Mining Sector Investors And The Government of Zimbabwe
For good governance and investor satisfaction there is a consultation mechanism under which mining sector players represented by the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines and government representatives, meet every 2 weeks to discuss mining sector developments and to address challenges periodically encountered. This is to ensure the viability of the mining industry.
- Mining Sector Labour Market Stability In Zimbabwe
It is very important to underscore that Zimbabwe’s mining sector labour market is very stable since independence. The Mining Sector labour market has been the envy of many foreign investors. It boasts of highly qualified and trained professional workforce. It also boasts of a hard working, disciplined, skilled and semi-skilled work force.
- Foreign Currency Availability in Terms of Dividend and Capital Remittance
- According to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, no mining sector player that has declared dividends has failed to remit dividends or capital.
- On 19 September, 2020, the Finance Minister for Zimbabwe, stated that the Zimbabwean economy has no shortage of foreign currency as such, but rather a problem of allocating foreign currency through formal systems. That problem, since June 2020 is being addressed by measures that include the foreign currency auction system.
- Currently the policy in place allows for 100% repatriation of dividends, profits and capital. The country has a capital in capital out policy that recognises the need for investors to be able to bring into the country any amount of capital pursuant to any investment project, and at the same time, to be able to take out dividends and any other incomes arising out of those investments.
- The Foreign Exchange Auction System was established to stabilise the foreign exchange markets. This has resulted in the stability of Zimbabwe’s domestic currency and the provision of foreign currency for foreign payments through the Auction and the banks.
- The foreign currency auction system allows businesses to submit daily bids for forex of between 50 – 500 000 US$.
- In terms of the current priority list for foreign payments, dividends and other incomes and profits due to foreign investors, take priority and as such, investors are assured of repatriation of their dividends.
- The challenges faced on shortages of foreign exchange are being addressed and we believe that the stability of the foreign exchange market, coupled with many other Government macroeconomic initiatives, will ultimately ensure that such foreign currency shortages are resolved.
- Investors should therefore, take comfort that the country recognises their aspirations and hence has put in place measures to attend to their requirements.
Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe
23 October, 2020