High hopes as Mine Entra kicks off

Its all systems go for this year’s edition of Mine Entra which starts today at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre

THE 26th edition of the mining, engineering and transport expo (Mine Entra) kicks off in Bulawayo today amid optimism that the exhibition will amplify the country’s quest for value addition and beneficiation of its minerals in order for citizens to benefit more from their natural resources.

President Mnangagwa will officially open the specialised three-day exhibition being held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC) tomorrow. 

The international trade and investment expo is being held under the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation Through Mineral Beneficiation”.

Government has set a target of US$12 billion mining industry by the end of this year and business engagements at platforms such as Mine Entra are expected to contribute significantly to the realisation of this dream.

The mining sector which during the past few years has witnessed a tremendous growth, is providing a strong foundation for the transformation of the economy to an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Already, mining accounts for more than half of Zimbabwe’s export revenue with gold and platinum accounting for half of the total annual export earnings.

Organised in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, Mine Entra provides one of the largest trade and investment platforms in the Southern African region and beyond.

Over the years, the expo has built a solid reputation for providing an integral business and networking platform that has seen industrialists and businessmen from different economic sectors engaging during conferences and meetings. The high-level meetings and conferences have contributed significantly to the big investments in the mining sector and the general improvement of the mining landscape in Zimbabwe.

According to the organisers, several sideline programmes have been lined up including the Mining Industry Suppliers’ Forum, which will be hosted by the Chamber of Mines and the inaugural Lithium and Battery Mineral Conference hosted by the Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM).

The Lithium and Battery Minerals Conference is expected to interrogate development, opportunities and imperatives relating to the sector. Both engagements are set for today.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda will officially open the Lithium conference. Another key event is the Mining Industry Report Breakfast Seminar and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Small Scale and Artisanal Miners Conference to be held on Friday.

Artisanal Miners Conference runs under the sub-theme: “Unlocking Zimbabwe’s Mining Potential: Empowering Small-scale and Artisanal Miners.”

Nine foreign exhibitors from China, South Africa and Tanzania are participating at this year’s expo. The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company said 60 percent of local exhibitors are coming from Harare while 31 percent are from Bulawayo.

“In order to promote local content, 36 percent of the participating exhibitors this year are local manufacturers of mining spares and mineral processing equipment,” said ZITF chief executive officer Dr Nicholas Ndebele.

Zimbabwe School of Mines principal Mr Edwin Gwazes said this year’s exhibition theme resonates well with ZSM’s focus of driving value addition and beneficiation of minerals in line with the Government’s thrust.

“The Mine Entra forum also allows us to network with key players and get to know their needs so that we can respond accordingly. ZSM is also hosting a Lithium and Battery conference alongside Mine Entra, which is set to explore opportunities in the lithium and battery minerals industry,” he said.

Zimbabwe Institute of Foundries chief operations officer, Mr Dosman Mangisi, said as players in metal engineering, they expect this year’s expo to promote import substitution through value addition of minerals and metals.

He said for the country to derive maximum benefits from its natural resources, there was a need to increase exports of value-added metals and minerals.

“We want to develop markets for the local metal engineering companies and to enhance value addition and beneficiation of minerals and metals. This will reduce imports and save the country the much needed foreign currency,” said Mangisi.

The massive growth of mining investments under the Second Republic has created thousands of jobs while the steady increase in precious minerals output is enhancing economic stability.

Zimbabwe has more than 60 extractable mineral deposits but less than 10 are being commercially exploited. Government has declared that Zimbabwe is Open for Business and the response from both local and international investors has been very encouraging. 

Chronicle

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