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HomeMiningStakeholders Highlight Strategic Importance of Critical Minerals at Chamber of Mines Conference

Stakeholders Highlight Strategic Importance of Critical Minerals at Chamber of Mines Conference

Stakeholders at the ongoing 2024 Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe annual conference have at highlighted the vital role played by critical minerals in the survival and prosperity of their economies.

The symposium which taking place in the resort town of Victoria Falls features a robust discussion on the latest developments at global, regional, and national levels, aims to inform and shape the future of Zimbabwe’s critical mineral sector.

In his opening remarks Isaac Kwesu, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, underscored the significance of the symposium.

“A topic that is in the minds of many leaders and policymakers is the security of key minerals that are critical for the survival of their economies. These minerals are so central in supporting economic, social, and defense sectors to the extent that they are regarded as critical minerals,” he said underscoring that updates received during the symposium would enrich discussions and guide policy formulation.

Minister of Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando outlined the government’s strategic initiatives to ensure local beneficiation and value addition for critical minerals.

“The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is working on strategies to ensure that local beneficiation and value addition become a reality for each mineral, including the critical minerals. This will be done on a case-by-case basis with some of the value chains to be developed and enhanced, including lithium ores to concentrates, sulphates, carbonates, hydroxides, cathode precursors, and finally lithium-ion batteries,” Chitando said.

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He noted that several lithium producers have already submitted value addition plans in response to the 2024 National Budget statement and mineral development policies, which also cover nickel, copper, iron, cobalt, and the construction of precious mineral refineries for Platinum Group Metals (PGMs).

President of the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, Thomas Gono expressed optimism about the country’s potential to capitalize on the rising demand for critical minerals.

“We believe that with endowments in lithium, nickel, copper, and PGMs, among others, we can position ourselves to benefit from the huge anticipated demand for critical minerals. We must ride the wave of higher mineral exploration expenditure through policies, structures, and systems that will attract those searching for minerals,” Gono said

He also spoke about ongoing efforts to amend the Mines and Minerals Act, with provisions to enhance the mining cadastre, strengthen environmental protections for communities, and define the status of strategic minerals.

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