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Zim eyes deals at Arab African mining conference

Enacy Mapakame
Stakeholders in the mining industry will in June convene in London for the third annual Arab African Mining Conference Exhibition where Zimbabwe is anticipating to strike mega deals for the mining sector.

The conference, which will run from June 25 to 26 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre will provide a unique platform in London for Arab and African countries to market mining projects to a high-profile audience of mining companies and institutional investors.

This will be a candid platform for Government officials, mining companies and potential investors from across the globe to discuss on opportunities as well as policy concerns with the ultimate goal of attracting investment in the mining sector.

Co-organisers for the conference, Financial Markets Indaba (FMI) indicated Zimbabwe would be on the agenda as one of the key countries in Southern Africa making presentations on mineral riches in Southern Africa on key commodities such as platinum, gold, diamond and battery metals.

“By being part of closed-door presentations, clients can obtain first hand intelligence on what foreign investors are seeking in the Zimbabwean investment space. Investors are pre-screened and pre-qualified for their active interest in Zimbabwe.

“The opportunity to present an investment case to a group of capable and potential investors with the benefit of feedback is invaluable. The opportunity of owning an exhibition stand, making presentations and demonstrating thought leadership enhances the face time with potential partners and investors,” said FMI business development executive Mr Patrick Muzondo.

He added that Zimbabwe, with its geological setting, has potential to host numerous mineral deposit styles with some of the least explored terrains worldwide.

As co-organisers of the conference, the FMI will be facilitating a special session on Zimbabwe, which will have senior Government officials and leading mining company executives.

The session will address the Government policy, monetary policy, investment environment and policy in Zimbabwe, new mining developments in the country and why Zimbabwe is the most promising destination for mining investment and business in Africa.

Mining is one of the key economic drivers for Zimbabwe and is expected to further buoy the economy going forward.

Global think tank, Fitch Solutions, has projected Zimbabwe to become a mining giant in Southern Africa on the back of its vast mineral deposits and huge investments that favours the sector’s growth.

Zimbabwe has vast mineral deposits ranging gold, platinum, diamonds, nickel and chrome. The country is home to the world’s second largest known platinum deposits after South Africa, while its gold reserves are one of the largest in Africa.

Diamond reserves are also estimated to be the second largest after Russia.

“Zimbabwe is emerging as an important mining centre within Southern Africa as foreign investment drives growth in mineral and metals production,” said Fitch in their recent publication on the country — Zimbabwe Country Risk Q1 2019.

“In terms of overall platinum output, Zimbabwe is challenging the world’s largest platinum producers, Russia and South Africa, while gold production is also set to ramp up over the medium term,” said Fitch Solutions.

Government is also working on improving the business environment to attract foreign direct investment in all sectors with various reforms being undertaken.

Already, Government has amended the indigenisation laws which will allow foreign investors to gain full ownership in all sectors save for platinum and diamond where Government will retain 51 percent stake.

Zimbabwe’s participation at the Arab African Mining Conference is therefore expected to be launch pad for increasing investment appetite into the country’s mining sector by global players.

The annual conference is the only event held in Europe enabling participants to

hear new mining projects first-hand and connect with government decision-makers directly.

Among other issues to be tabled at the conference include new opportunities from Arab and African governments, including new exploration opportunities, licensing rounds, producing mine investments.

Understanding the geological potential of overlooked mining countries, including the Sahelian countries of West Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Nubian Shield as well as Sub-Saharan Africa will also be discussed.

FMI is an investment platform that connects capital providers, allocators and operators with a view to promote investment deals and activity in Zimbabwe and Africa.

“The platform convenes over insightful panel discussions, presentations and conversations in the three most important cities to Zimbabwe’s capital markets: Harare, Johannesburg and London,” said Mr Muzondo.

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