Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Thursday his government’s target to achieve a 12 billion U.S. dollars mining industry by 2023 is achievable given the growing momentum in the industry.

He said it was encouraging that last year, and despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining sector’s performance amounted to 5.2 billion U.S. dollars from 2.9 billion dollars in 2017.

“Well done to the sector stakeholders for a commendable performance,” he said while opening the annual mining exhibition in the second city of Bulawayo Thursday.

He said since assuming power in 2017, he had commissioned various signature mining projects in the areas of exploration, extraction and expansion covering such minerals as lithium, platinum and gold, adding that more projects will be coming on stream between the next 20-24 months.

“The 12 billion dollars target is, therefore, within reach and set to see the realization of a diversified, integrated, modern and industrialized economy synonymous with a prosperous society,” Mnangagwa said.

Mining is strategic to the Zimbabwean economy, accounting for more than 60 percent of foreign currency receipts annually and 13 percent of GDP.

Mnangagwa pledged more incentives to mining sector investors and called for the efficient organization and syndication of the artisanal, small to medium-scale miners in the mining sector.

“Going forward, I call upon the sector to rally its players to adopt contemporary and appropriate mining technologies across the mineral value chain. This must result in the efficient extraction and guarantee the realisation of the maximum value from our God-given endowments,” Mnangagwa said.

He also called on the sector to venture into local production of quality and competitively priced mining consumables in line with “Buy Zimbabwe; Made in Zimbabwe; Build Zimbabwe” initiative.

“Riding on increased capacity utilization of the various mining houses, there is no excuse for the continued importation of mining consumables and related accessories such as mill balls and conveyor belts, among others,” Mnangagwa said.

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