Local investment in black granite processing critical

Players in the local granite processing sector have underscored the importance of increasing investments towards cutting and polishing the stone to maximise national revenue generation.
Zimbabwe is a major producer of black granite for almost fifty decades, despite most of that stone being processed abroad.
According to data collected by the Observatory of Economic Complexity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zimbabwe exported granite worth 45.5 million United States dollars in 2016, with players in the sector now advocating for more efforts towards value addition to maximising on the returns.
“We face challenges in accessing equipment to value add our granite into various products that include tombstone and furniture. We lack cutting and polishing machines to process our granite. The country is losing a lot from selling semi processed granite.”
“We face challenges in accessing material to use. We face shortages of the rocks in August as those who cut the rocks focus on the export market.”
“We are looking forward to more support to grow our industry. The stones are at times in short supply. We urge the government to ensure a good supply to assist upcoming players.”
With the granite mined mostly in Mutoko going to Mozambique, Italy, Belgium and Spain among other countries, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is convinced that value addition and beneficiation should be a national priority.
“In value addition and beneficiation, the private sector should be the leader while government facilitates. The issue of value addition and beneficiation is critical in improving the economy. There is the Zimbabwe industry development fund worth billion dollars for value addition purposes that the industry should take advantage of.”
Reports indicate that the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, was built with black granite from Zimbabwe, thus speaking to the importance attached to the local granite rock.

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