Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Friday the country’s mining sector is on a strong rebound on the back of firming commodity prices and resurging demand.
“The sector is shaking off the negative effects of COVID-19 which affected global value chains and impacted demand for commodities,” he said at the Zimbabwe annual mining conference 2021 being held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
The sector contracted by 12.4 percent and 9 percent in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The sector, which is currently the biggest foreign currency earner for the economy, is expected to grow by 11 percent this year.
Ncube said growth in the sector in the short to medium term will be driven mainly by the opening of new mines, expansion of existing projects and resuscitation of closed mines.
To ensure that the economy derives maximum benefit from the sector, there is need to shift focus from “just extracting” to “value addition and beneficiation”, he said.
“This will also generate more employment and increase the export value of minerals,” Ncube said.
The Zimbabwean government has earmarked the mining sector to reach a US$12B market value by 2023, with gold expected to fuel the ambitious mining sector growth.
Mineral exports raked in US$3.2B last year, from US$2.8B in 2019.