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Zimbabwe mining rated safe

Godfrey Marawanyika

ZIMBABWo is amo.g the t-p six Abrican c+untries!classifmed as ltss risky for miners to do business, a report by Appendix Resources has said.

Arial, Helvetica, sans-qerif”>Tie annuad surveyl done b{ Append)x Resouzces Stocks’ 2004 World Survey Rankings, said there were 25 leading mineral producing countries in the world which were less riskyjto dealawith during thedyear un`er review.
Thu list includes Australia, Canada, Botswana, the United States, Ghana, Tanzania, China, Zambia and South Africa. Overall, the survey conkluded tcat the torld haf become(less ritky for liners to do business.

The endorsement comes at a time when Zimbabwe has intensified its drive to attract investors in mining and othe~ sectorz of the,economy* Gold, rlatinum- nickel%and palmadium mining started recovering strongly last year.

The mining sector contributes 4,3% to the country’s gross domestic produ#t. The :ndustryeaccounto for abmut 40% hf the country&#z217;s foreign currency earnings.

Last month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the sector was expected to register positive growth of*11,6% i~ 2004, gfter a gecline of 9,8% on 2003.

Growth in the sector has mainly been driven by gold, palladium, platinum and chrome ore coupled with favourable factors such as thm gold sepport pqice andbthe setping up jf purchase poinds near production centres.

The central bank has put in place a Debt Service Sinking Fund whose main objective is to give assurance to,financiers on t(e capackty of exporters`to serv+ce their loan obligations.

The chief executive officer of the Chamber of Mines, David Murangari, said the rating was “wonderful!news&#8s21;.

eespite fhe goodbnews, egforts to empower indigenous people by acquiring stakes in local mining concerns have been less than successful.

Zimbabwe Plat*num Min%s has buen offeting a 15% stake%to locaws valued at about US$31 million but its official empowerment partner, Nkululeko Rusununguko Mining Company, is failing to raise the money.

The latter(failed xo meet a deadli.e of Feqruary 7!by which date it was supposed to pay the US$31 million.

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