The Mining Industry is one of the most supported sector in Zimbabwe. The government is so much optimistic about it as they aim to make it a USD$12 Billion Dollar Sector by 2023. With it comes a number of opportunities entrepreneurs can venture into, besides digging for the minerals. Allow me to bring in this quote, “When they is a gold rush, don’t dig the gold. Instead sell the shovel.” Jignesh JK. Let’s reveal the Business Ideas in the Mining Industry to consider as an Entrepreneur besides digging for the mineral.
- Exploration Services
Proper exploration is key to the mine’s success. Exploration is basically the assessment of what is underground in terms of ore (mineral containing rock) reserve. Exploration services also tells if the venture it’s worth it or not and points out the particular spot to mine. Briefly, that is the key starting point in mining, and miners invest a lot in it. Get yourself a piece of the cake in the exploration sector.
- Mineral Processing Services
Whilst a number of Artisanal Small-Scale Miners (A.S.M) can manage bringing the ore to the ground, extracting the minerals from the rock can be bit challenging due to lack of skills, equipment and financial resources. An entrepreneur can come in by setting up a Milling, C.I.P, Elution and Smelting Station, made up of metallurgical expects ready to do all the necessary assessments prior to processing, managing the processing part and up to the final product. This can be on the basis of subscription, fixed cost per ton or profit sharing model.
- Gold Buying and Selling
Not all miners can deliver or sell their gold to the sole gold buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (F.P.R). An entrepreneur can come in as the F.P.R agent, buying gold in the field and selling it to fidelity gaining a gross margin of around 40% per gram. (Click this link to read on how to get a gold buying license in Zimbabwe.) That’s a great rate of return isn’t? Do more research and come up with an infiltration strategy.
- Transport Services
In different mining stages, different sought of transport are required. Miners, A.S.M in particular may require transport to bring in consumables to the Mine, move ore to processing units or even export ore or concentrates. An entrepreneur can come in as a reliable transporter using different models to price his/her services.
- Catering Services
Starting with the A.S.M sector, they require food, a lot of it to carry on with their daily activities. An entrepreneur can introduce a mobile kitchen serving A.S.M in a particular area. For large scale mines, you can negotiate a catering deal for their employees as they tend to contract for these services. Mines often provide food for free to their employees, hence a guaranteed cash flow to the Entrepreneur.
- Security Services
Mining is associated with a lot of theft risk, to both machineries and the final product. Mines tend to sub-contract for security services hence a lucrative opportunity to pursue as an entrepreneur.
- Machinery Selling or Leasing
Mining activities require big machineries at different levels. Some large scale mines often rent machines at a fixed cost, whilst A.S.M often rent machinery at a fixed cost or profit share. An entrepreneur can also come in as a supplier of required machinery such as gold detectors, crushers, compressors, jack hummers, generators, water pumps only to mention a few.
- Consultancy Services
Both A.S.M and large Scale Miners hire external consultancy at some point for process optimization or investigation. If you have the knowhow, you can come in as a geology, metallurgy, mining, IT, finance or Human Resource consultancy and get paid per hour.
- Blogging and Technology Services
An entrepreneur can also benefit by blogging news or articles related to the Mining Industry. The technological transformation isn’t leaving the Mining Sector behind too. Hence an entrepreneur can come in as software or product developer, appliance supplier such as security cameras among other technological services required by miners.
- Alternative Power Supply
The mining industry is power intensive and some mines are in remote areas. For A.S.M, you can supply them with fuel to power up generators or rent out generators to them. For medium to large scale mines, you can supply solar panels or off grid solar energy.
There is much in this sector besides digging for the rock, assess the risk, know how the sector works and take the other required steps.