Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 June 2009 – Zimbabwe prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai says the southern African country could attract up to US$16 billion (R145 billion) in exploration and mining investment if it corrects policies that have scared away foreign investors.
Reuters reports that mining has become a pillar of the country’s battered economy, following the collapse of commercial farming, with gold alone generating a third of all export revenue. But large mining houses have kept away after an economic crisis worsened by President Robert Mugabe’s policies, including a nationalisation law targeting majority holding by locals in foreign-owned mines.
Tsvangirai told members of the Chamber of Mines at their annual general meeting here that the global mining boom witnessed in the past few years could resume by mid 2010, which Zimbabwe could take advantage of by having attractive policies.
“Government has a window of opportunity to prepare a conducive policy environment by mid 2010 that could see Zimbabwe’s minerals sector attracting between US$6 billion (R55 billion) and US$16 billion (R145 billion) in exploration and mine development between 2011 and 2018,” Tsvangirai said.
There has been no exploration since 2002 in Zimbabwe, which has the second largest platinum deposits in the world after South Africa, and boasts large reserves of gold, copper, coal and nickel. Major miners operating in Zimbabwe include Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), its rival Anglo Platinum and global player Rio Tinto.