Story by Kenias Chivuzhe
THE discovery of further mineral deposits in Manicaland province has renewed interest in the mining sector positioning the province on a firm position to contribute to set targets.
The discovery of lithium deposits in Buhera and Chimanimani, among other minerals, and the expansion of the diamond and gold mining sub-sectors has resulted in renewed interest by investors to explore the mining sector in Manicaland.
In an interview with ZBC News in Mutare this Thursday, Manicaland Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Edgers Seenza spoke on the new lithium deposits and prospects for increased mining sector growth in the province.
“In addition to the lithium that is going to be mined by by Sabi Star mine in Buhera, we also have two other companies in the same district intending to mine Lithium. The two companies are going to mine Lithium in areas separate from the one being mined by Sabi Star mine commissioned by President Mnangagwa last year. These areas are already subject to EIAs by Licomex Private Limited and First Roots minerals companies.
“The Lithium deposits in Buhera cover places under Headman Mabviregudo and Headman Neshava. We also have wards 11, 12,15 and 18 where Lithium deposits have also been confirmed again in Buhera. We also have reports that we have same deposits in Chimanimani and checks are still ongoing. A new lithium processing plant is set to be constructed in Mutare, with investors also ready to partner government in expanding Forbes Border Post, among key developments in the province,” he said.
He added, “We also have investors in particular Run Qiaa mining which would like to establish a lithium processing plant in the City of Mutare taking advantage of the proximity of the city to the port of Beira. Government would also want to expand Forbes Border Post and we also have investors who want to partner government in expanding the border post so as to handle increased volumes of traffic.”
Manicaland Province Director of Economic Affairs and Investment Promotion, Munyaradzi Rubaya says the mining sector is expected to contribute significantly to the provincial annual gross domestic product this year.
“The mining sector is one of the major economic sectors of this province and the expansion of this sector will improve the provincial GDP. Our target is to grow the provincial GDP by five percent with the mining sector contributing over one percent of the set target. The developments will generate more jobs for the locals,” he noted.
Minerals like vermiculite, tantalite, phosphate molybdenite, limestone and granite as well the projected output of 5 million carats per year in the diamond sector and revival of gold mines such as Redwing Mine by Better Brands is expected to contribute significantly to the attainment of a US$12 billion mining industry by the end of this year.