Mining indaba to tackle mineral exploration in Zimbabwe
MINERAL exploration is likely to dominate the annual Zimbabwe Mining and Infrastructure Indaba to be held from 14th to 16th of October in Harare, with promoters saying the issue was likely to be “one of the main highlights” of the much-anticipated event.
The indaba, which is in its seventh year, will bring mining companies, geological experts and policy makers to discuss issues pertaining to exploration. Some of the issues to be discussed include the need for exploration, best practice, exploration benchmarking, value creation from exploration, testing new play concepts, reducing exploration risk by developing new techniques and appropriate mining technology for Sub Sahara geology formation.
Last year, Zimbabwe’s Parliamentarians pushed for a motion, which if passed, would compel government to allocate resources towards mineral exploration, and to establish a database containing up-to-date geological information.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with ubiquitous mineral resources including the world’s largest diamond reserves, second largest platinum reserves and 60 different types of minerals, 40 of which have been exploited to various extents,” the notice of motion read.
However, the challenge facing Zimbabwe is that there is insufficient geological data when presenting potential mining projects to investors. Zimbabwe has been struggling to attract investors because of the inability to present projects with sound geological information that can stand on their own as bankable projects.
The hosts of the Indaba, Utho Capital, said they have seen numerous mining projects over the years and the biggest problem has been that these projects were merely concepts with no substantial geological information to back them.
Some experts have pointed out that Zimbabwe has a record 6 000 deposits of minerals such as gold, chromite, gas and other precious stones discovered a long time ago but so far only 65 percent of the country is geologically mapped.
“So if the country is to benefit fully from its natural resources there is need to aggressively and urgently push for the complete geological mapping of the country. The country is said to have over 4 000 known gold deposits (about 84 million tonnes), while Chiadzwa diamonds are said to have a potential to supply 25 percent of the world’s diamond market,” said Utho.
Some of the experts expected to magiveke presentations include David Murangari, chairman of the Mining Exploration Company, Avinash Bisnath, managing director of DMT – Kai Batla Private Limited and chairman of the National Geological Society, among other illustrious regional and international experts.
“The question that will need to be addressed is how does Zimbabwe now overcome this hurdle going forward,” said the conference organisers.
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Walter Chidhakwa, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa, are also set to grace the Indaba.