Government, Caledonia in bid to improve gold production

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THE government yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (Mou) with the Caledonia Mining Corporation in a bid to achieve output of 500 0000 ounces of gold (18 tonnes) by 2030, the Daily News reports.

This comes as the country is targeting economic growth through the envisaged US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, with gold expected to contribute US$4 billion towards attainment of this vision.

Speaking during the Mou signing ceremony at State House in Harare yesterday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who witnessed the signing, said it affirmed that Zimbabwe is open for business and investment.

“This ceremony is a milestone achievement towards our quest to attain a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023. This Mou between Caledonia Mining Corporation and my government is vital as it defines the responsibilities of each party.

It further provides scope of authority, clarifies conditions and compliance issues with regards to proposed mining interventions.

“I, therefore, exhort the ministry of Mines and Mining Development and Caledonia Mining Corporation to speed up the implementation of this agreement. Bureaucratic tendencies are a thing of the past,” Mnangagwa said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

He added that there was a need for mining companies to adopt technologies and involve communities in all mining activities in order to boost district and provincial gross domestic product (GDP).

“My administration is accelerating measures to improve the ease and cost of doing business. The establishment of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) will provide impetus to Zimbabwe’s open for business mantra,” Mnangagwa said.

Speaking at the same event, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the realisation of a US$12 billion mining industry and Vision 2020 depended on increased productivity across all sectors of the economy.

“As you may be aware, Zimbabwe is a mineral rich country endowed with a variety of minerals such as diamonds, gold, chrome, platinum, among others. However, mineral endowment on its own is not sufficient to bring about economic transformation. The government has set a target to attain the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 with gold expected to contribute US$4 billion.

“Caledonia Mining Corporation is a major player in the Zimbabwe gold mining sector. It is expected that the gold mining sector will play a critical role in national transformation for the benefit of the general populace through local sales and export of gold,” Chiwenga said.

Mines minister Winston Chitando encouraged other players to invest in the mining sector to accelerate the achievement of the US$12 billion mining industry.

“The mining sector has huge potential to support the downstream industry and improve the economy up the value chain. The MOU entails the government working with Caledonia Mining Corporation to achieve production of 18 tonnes by 2030. What we have signed here is a framework for the intended goal of achieving 18 tonnes,” Chitando said.

Caledonia Mining Corporation’s chief executive officer, Steve Curtis, said his company would continue exploring potential investments in Zimbabwe.

“We also recently approved the construction of a 12 megawatt solar plant at Blanket Mine in Gwanda at a cost of approximately US$12 million. We expect to have this operational by this time next year. Once constructed it will provide almost 30 percent of Blanket’s total daily electricity demand and reduce our greenhouse emission and Blanket’s dependence on electric power,” Curtis said.

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