In a few days to come, Zimbabwe will gazette a law that will ban exports of raw minerals and concentrates to enable the country to fully benefit from its mineral wealth without having to export more jobs.
Speaking at the official commissioning of the US$67 million new Central Shaft Expansion Project at Blanket Mine in Gwanda town, President Mnangagwa said the move to ban exports of raw lithium comes at a time when Chinese Nationals were getting the commodity at a song in Mberengwa depriving the people of fair value.
President Mnangagwa said if the country was to achieve its vision of becoming an upper middle-income economy by 2030, greater effort was supposed to be made to ensure that the export of raw minerals and concentrates is been banned.
“In line with Vision 2030, greater efforts should be made towards value addition and beneficiation of minerals. We cannot as a country continue to export primary products including concentrates and ores. Recently in Mberengwa, we discovered that there was a mountain with nothing but lithium and our people were collecting this lithium ore and being paid something like US$100 when that same quantity will fetch more than a thousand to US$2000 and then exporting it unprocessed, so Zimbabwe loses. Within a few days I’m gazetting a law prohibiting what has been happening in Mberengwa,” said president Mnangagwa.
Last year the Cabinet approved a ban on all exports of unprocessed chrome ore in order to protect the ferrochrome industry, which it says is integral in the country’s attainment of an envisioned US$12 billion industry by 2023.
A cumulative twenty-two chrome smelters are now operating and are shared among nine foreign and local companies.