THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has slated November 1 to 3 for this year’s Mine-Entra Exhibition with 169 director exhibitors having already signed up.
In 2019, government set an annual mining income target of US$12 billion by the end of this year which hinged on improved government support and increased foreign direct investment (FDI).
However, in the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe’s (CoMZ) 2022 annual report it was revealed that the mining industry was expected to fall short of the US$12 billion mark by around 42%, weighed down by high costs, power outages and foreign currency shortages.
Now, with the slowdown in China’s economic growth due to a growing mortgage problem, a push away from carbon processes and geo-political concerns, global mineral prices are expected to take a further knock, making it more difficult to achieve the US$12 billion target.
“The theme recognises that by prioritising value-chain development and leveraging innovative mineral beneficiation processes, the mining sector has the potential to catalyse economic transformation through job creation, higher mining industry profitability, increased FDI and other multiplier benefits,” ZITF Company chief executive officer Nicholas Ndebele said in an interview with NewsDay Business.
“The focus of the 2023 show will, therefore, be on showcasing innovation in mining and mineral processing as well as providing an effective common platform for conversations to drive the growth and sustainable development of mining industries.”
He said the Mine-Entra Exhibition had been curated to feature a diverse networking and knowledge-sharing platforms which sought to further propel the national impetus to make mining a catalyst for inclusive economic growth, now and into the future.
“To date, 169 direct exhibitors have confirmed their participation in this year’s show, occupying over 7 929 square metres of exhibition space. As last-minute bookings continue to come in on a daily basis, we anticipate that the show will close at near par with last year’s closing 202 exhibitors,” Ndebele added.
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Of these direct exhibitors, nine are foreign exhibitors coming from China and South Africa, according to ZITF.
In terms of local participation, 70% of the confirmed exhibitors are coming from Harare while 21% are from Bulawayo and the remainder from other cities.
“The Mine-Entra Conference and official opening, scheduled for Thursday, November 2, will serve as a platform for influential professionals from the mining industry, policymakers and mining support service providers to converge,” Ndebele added.
CoMZ will be hosting the Joint Suppliers and Producers Forum on November 1, a multi-stakeholder event that provides a discussion to the mines as well as downstream and upstream industries in the mining value chain.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to headline the conference and officially open Mine-Entra 2023.
The Small-Scale and Artisanal Miners Conference scheduled for November 3, will provide an platform for small-scale and artisanal miners, industry experts, policymakers and other stakeholders to share notes, organisers say.