Zim to host mining indaba

HARARE - Zimbabwe is set to host the sixth edition of the mining and infrastructure Indaba next month amid declining production in the sector.

The conference — slated for October 8 to 10 — is expected to come up with solutions to help grow the sector after weak international prices, frequent power outages, obsolete equipment and inadequate funding undermined performance in the first half of the year.

This comes after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently revised the country’s mining sector growth targets from 10,2 percent to a negative 1,9 percent due to slump in production.

Sheila Galloway, chief executive of Utho Capital, organisers of the conference, said the Indaba would be held under the theme “Mining: A Catalyst for Infrastructure Development in Africa.”

“The conference will bring together local, regional and international delegates, with  panels comprising prominent speakers and stakeholders to discuss key issues that impact on the mining sector in Africa and in  particular infrastructure development and funding issues impacting negatively on the advancement of Africa,” she said.

Mines minister Walter Chidakwa is set to officially open the conference, which will be held in Harare with more than 250 local, regional and international delegates expected to participate.

Some of the speakers at the conference will include Alex Mhembere, president of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines and chief executive of Zimplats, Ian Saunders, president and chief executive of New Dawn Mining Company, Elias Masilela, commissioner,  National Planning Commission South Africa and former chief executive of the PIC, the largest pension fund in Africa and Klaus Findt, partner at KPMG Infrastructure and Major Projects Group South Africa among other notable speakers.

One of the topics, which will come under discussion at the conference, is the issue of beneficiation and value addition of minerals in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.

Galloway noted that beneficiation was a top priority for Africa and speakers will include renowned international experts in mining, beneficiation and infrastructure development highlighting best practices in beneficiation from around the world “but more importantly illustrating how far Zimbabwe has gone with beneficiation.” Other issues that will be tackled include, new legislation and regulations in the mining sector, raising capital for African mining and infrastructure projects, sovereign wealth funds: a source of investment, localisation of procurement to build sustainable economies.

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