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Zimbabwe struggles with mining exploration plans

Zimbabwean mines
and mining development
deputy minister
Murisi Zwizwai 
Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 January 2010 – The plans of the government of Zimbabwe to establish a mining exploration company which would co-ordinate prospecting for minerals across the country are suffering from a choking financial crunch.

Exploration by nature is risky business, requiring large investment expenditure outlays and this has contributed to the lack of exploration since the 1980s.

allAfrica.com quotes local newspaper The Herald as saying the absence of extensive exploration work in Zimbabwe has perpetuated a situation where most of the local underground minerals remain inferred resources. Hence the government’s intention to finalise and implement an exploration company to intensify mining exploration activity.

Mines and mining development deputy minister Murisi Zwizwai said the formation of an exploration company remained the government’s plan. “The principle of the formation of an exploration company remains on the cards despite the challenge of financial resources,” he confirmed.

“Exploration is the most expensive aspect of mining, and undertaking this exercise on a nationwide scale would require billions of dollars,” Zwizwai admitted. He said government was scouting for partners to implement this project.

The Herald reports that expectations are also high that favourable economic conditions will see the mining sector registering a substantial growth rate averaging 40% this year. This would be a significant recovery from successive declines over the past decade which saw mining’s contribution to GDP dropping from 7% to 2% in 2008.