“For example we need to come up with a gold plan, asbestos plan and diamond plan,” said Chitando.
At the ZITF International Business Conference on Wednesday, DPM Arthur Mutambara said that the call by the Mines ministry for value addition on minerals was now a tired song because it left out some of the fundamentals required for the process to be a success.
Mutambara said there are four things that are needed for value addition to make sense, these being investment in new technology, capable human capital, access to new cash in the form of investors and a change in mind-set.
“Engineers have to move away from just being capable of mining coal for Zesa, but have to start thinking big in terms of their ability to build catalytic convertors,” he said.
Meanwhile, platinum producers have completed the formation of the Platinum Producers Association (PPA), a sector-specific lobby group.
The formation of the PPA, an association of the three platinum producers in the country and affiliated to Zimbabwe’s largest mining body, CoMZ, was first mooted this February to deal with issues related to mining of the metal.
Among the main issues threatening the sector are the hefty mining royalties which government has hiked by 100%. Other serious issues are liquidity problems, the government’s call for the players to establish beneficiation plants, indigenisation and continued disruption of power supplies.
“As a chamber we have formed the sub-sector Platinum Producers Association to come up with a solution on beneficiation in that sector in partnership with government,” Chitando said.
The country currently has three platinum producers which are, Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats), Mimosa Mine and Unki Mine.
A fourth platinum mine is set to come on board through an equal partnership between an independent investor and the Zimbabwe Minerals Development Corporation.
Zimplats is currently conducting feasibility studies for a beneficiation plant. Mines minister Obert Mpofu (pictured) has in the past said miners should partner to start beneficiation projects.
He said government had resolved to maximise returns on its mineral wealth by exporting finished products as opposed to raw minerals, adding that the country had also decided to move from a mere resource-based economy.
Zimbabwe has the second largest known deposits of platinum in the world after neighbouring South Africa.