The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe has refuted findings made by a global think tank-Fraser Institute which rated the country as the worst mining investment jurisdiction in the world in its report released earlier this month.
The Fraser Institute 2022 Survey of Mining Companies was circulated electronically to approximately 1,966 individuals between August 23rd to December 30th, 2022. Survey responses were tallied to rank provinces, states, and countries according to the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage mining investment.
Zimbabwe was rated 62nd out of 62 countries due to poor mining infrastructure and policies as well as lack of enforcement of existing regulations.
However Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Isaac Kwesu told journalists in Harare in a press briefing preluding its Annual General Meeting set for end of this month that the Fraser Institute Report was misplaced.
“It is their views informed by specific parameters they use. We don’t agree with what Fraser says,” said Kwesu.
“Most countries don’t agree with the Fraser Institute report. South Africa did come up with a position paper specifically to say they don’t agree with what Fraser Institute is saying about S.A. We feel that their views sometimes don’t incorporate the broader perspective.”
Kwesu however said while the findings in the report were amplified, there are a fair share of challenges that the local mining industry is facing which relates to inadequate electricity supply which had affected first quarter production estimates, lack of capital and several policy issues.
The country’s mining sector has fairly performed given the operational environment marred with high cost of production and currency volatility among other issues.
“We have seen notable investments in the mining sector in the current environment. Caledonia has done much well with its massive investments. We see lithium coming strong as well as the PGMs,” said Kwesu.
However, the Fraser Institute findings provide a semblance of the grim reality of the country’s mining sector, observers say.
For a country endowed with vast mineral resources, there has been a lack of investment into exploration to harness its great potential. Moreover there is lack of transparency which continues to hamper investment.
Recently, Al-Jazeera released a damning report showing the illicit trade of Zimbabwe’s gold in the Middle East by individuals close to authority. Since the release of the documentary, the government has not cared to explain its side of the story.
Experts say this has long term negative effects on the country’s investment attractiveness.
The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe is set to discuss some of these issues at its Annual General Meeting Victoria Falls running from 30 May till 2 June.