With all the efforts being made by the Government of Zimbabwe to continuously grow the Mining Industry, the sector is still under explored and exploited. It is largely characterized by importing heavy equipment, spares and other consumables. To add on to the list of voids, Zimbabwean Mining Companies don’t fully beneficiate and add value to minerals though there is a lot of fortunes in doing so. Also a point to note, there is lack of cooperation between the Artisanal Small Scale Miners (ASM) and large corporates.
Whilst the Zimbabwean Mining Industry significantly contributes to revenue from exports, it also loses a lot due to importation of machinery and consumables such as cyanide, caustic soda, lime, steel balls among others. As we are focusing on making it a 12 Billion Dollar Industry by 2023, we should also focus on building a sustainable and competitive local supply chain that is capable of supplying the region and continent at large.
During the period of January to July 2019, the Mining Industry contributed around 64% of the total exports, 56% of the exported minerals being semi processed (ore & concentrates), Semi-manufactured gold (including gold plated with platinum) leading the list, followed by Nickel ore and concentrates, Unworked or simply sawn industrial diamonds, Platinum unwrought or in powder form and Chromium ores and concentrates.
Furthermore, within the Mining Sector they is lack of cooperation between the ASMs and Large Scale Miners. Some of the opportunities that comes with cooperation within the sector are Large Scale Miners buying ore, concentrates, pregnant carbon and or gold bullion from the ASM or even do joint ventures with the ASM Sector. You can realize that there is lot of fortune in cooperation between these two parties. Appreciation to Freda Rebecca that now buys gold from ASMs.
Moreover, Zimbabwe has more than 60 different confirmed minerals and around 40 have been exploited to various extend. This makes the Zimbabwean Mining Industry one of sector with voids that entrepreneurs need to fill in and monetize from.
The once glorious manufacturing sector of Zimbabwe rapidly fell down which resulted in some private players exiting out of Zimbabwe and some parastatals shutting down. That left a lot of voids entrepreneurs need to fill in both at small and large scale. Whilst big projects may seem too ambitious, there is lot of pride and return in most of them. Some of the opportunities we need to harness from are:
- Electricals manufacturing
- toy manufacturing
- car manufacturing
Within the electrical manufacturing sector, there is great opportunity of manufacturing lithium cells. Lithium cells have been gaining popularity due to their durability, less charging time and the high demands of electric vehicles. The lithium-ion battery market was valued $36.7billion in 2019 and it is expected to hit US$129.3 billion by 2027 (alliedmarketresearch.com). What makes the opportunity more interesting is that Zimbabwe has over 230,000 MT of lithium deposits, which places it at number 7 in Lithium deposits globally (www.investingnews.com)
Zimbabwe is also abundantly blessed with precious and semi-precious stones (gem stones) which makes the jewelry manufacturing option a lucrative one. Some worth mentioning precious gem stones found in Zimbabwe are diamonds and emeralds. To add on to the toy manufacturing sector, in 2019, China produced approximately 70% of the total toys produced worldwide and in that same year it was set to earn 39.5Billion (www.ibisworld.com) from toys…
The car manufacturing sector requires a number of minerals, most Zimbabwe has in abundance. Car steel bodies are mainly made from iron rich minerals like magnetite and hematite, door handles and badges are often coated with chromium. In 2013, carmakers used $7billion worth of platinum to develop catalyst converter (Zimbabwe is ranked third globally in terms of platinum production). Aluminum- a strong, lightweight metal is being used in the design of lighter vehicles bodies that contributes to fuel efficiency. Zimbabwe also has aluminum ores.
Not resuscitating the manufacturing sector has seen Zimbabwe lose a lot as a country from importing Machinery including computers, Vehicles, Electrical machinery and equipment, Plastic, Articles of iron or steel among others.