Invest in mining equipment, local firms told

By Sifiso Sibanda

CONCERNS have been raised over the 80 percent importation rate of mining equipment and local engineering companies have been urged to capitalise on opportunities in the mining sector.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tour of exhibition stands at the Mine ENTRA in Bulawayo this Thursday was an opportunity to assess challenges and opportunities in the mining sector, whose target is to grow a US$12 billion industry by 2023.

With around 150 exhibitors showcasing their equipment, it came to light that the supply side of mining equipment is failing to meet demand, supplying only 20 percent of the nation’s current demand.

“While we continue to see a growth trajectory in the mining sector, I am concerned by the fact that as a country we are importing 80 percent of equipment and only 20 percent is procured locally, so my advice to local suppliers is that they must see opportunities in the mining sector and produce the bulk of our mining needs so that we don’t export jobs,” said President Mnangagwa.

The government’s concern was met by a commitment from players in the industry to support local manufacturers of mining equipment.

“We would love to get all our needs as miners locally so that we support the local products and stop exporting and on this one we stand with the President and we are ready to procure locally,” said Morgan Mugawu, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation Secretary General.

During his tour, the President went to various stands including the Institute of Mining Research, Hwange Colliery Company, Bolt Gas, Intraquip and Chemicals, Midlands Metal, Pump and Steel, Zambezi Gas, Shepco, CAT, Barloworld and Redan.