BULAWAYO, July 22 (The Source) – Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa says mining companies in Zimbabwe should collaborate and build a power station to mitigate power shortages in the country.
Zimbabwe is battling to plug a huge energy deficit due to limited investment in the capital intensive energy sector. The country requires about 2,200 megawatts daily, but generates only 1,400MW resulting in rolling power cuts that have hit hard on the manufacturing and mining industries.
Addressing delegates at a mining ,engineering and transport exhibition (Mine Entra) in Bulawayo, Chidhakwa said mining companies in Zimbabwe should come together and build their own power station and stop complaining about power cuts.
“Mining companies should come together and build their own power station. For example, if platinum, gold and chrome companies would come together and say we want to develop a power station for our activities, surely, they can leverage the power problem and it’s possible. It must be done,” he said.
Chidhakwa also said government was going ahead with the consolidation of diamond mining companies in the country.
In March this year, Zimbabwe’s government announced plans to nationalise all diamond mining, including the RioZim owned Murowa Diamonds near Zvishavane. Government already has stakes of varying degrees in all firms operating in the Marange fields on the eastern border with Mozambique.
“We will not take a step back on the issue of consolidation. There are other companies who are campaigning against the issue but I want to tell them that we will not back-track and we have prepared a model on how we could handle it,” he said.
There are five mines operating in Marange — Anjin Diamond Mining Corporation, Jinan Mining Private Ltd, Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds — after Gye Nyame and Kusena went under. Gye Nyame and Kusena will be taken over by the wholly government-owned Marange Resources.
He added that the government would soon start cutting and polishing diamonds locally.
“We have been discussing this with diamond companies and what I can tell you is that there is light. We will start cutting and polishing our diamonds locally,” he said.
Chidhakwa also said government has approved plans to start mining minerals from the riverbeds but said that would be done with caution in order to protect rivers from siltation.
“There is no doubt that there is high quality gold and diamonds along riverbeds. As such, the cabinet has approved that a government company should be tasked to extract minerals along the riverbeds. However, that would be done in way that would not destroy rivers,” he said.