Mining corporates should kick start the economy

Midlands correspondent

Local mining companies have been challenged to kick start the economy through synergies with local manufacturers and local procurement of equipment, as some sectors of the mining industry has recorded an increase in production.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Midlands Chapter Chairman, Julian Mashavakure says the mining sector should be in the forefront in developing a working relationship with the local industries which can, if committed, produce standard products and equipment that can be used by local mining companies.

“As we speak, the mining sector is doing very well especially with the platinum companies but then, we need that synergy between the mining sector and the manufactures because we can manufacture for the mining industry,” he said.

“Yes value addition and beneficiation is good but local procurement is the starting point.

“Unfortunately as it stands the mining industry is importing most of its stuff from South Africa. There is need for mining concerns to think local and procure products from companies within Zimbabwe, encourage that cooperation between the mining and the manufacturing industries.”

As companies buy or order their equipment from abroad, Mashavakure said between that period in which the equipment will be in transit, mining corporates should engage local manufacturers to supply equipment to cover the gaps, which could take up to three months.

He also added that external procurement is not cost effective for companies that rely on bank loans as interest which accumulates during the transit period without production; especially from countries like China is exorbitant.  Saying the turnaround time for that money is too short.

The Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said mining sector growth is anticipated to recover by year end at 13.6 percent, led by metals such as platinum, gold and nickel while the economy is now expected to grow by 1.2 percent from the previous projection of 2.7 percent.

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