Value addition of granite stones set to transform local economies

By ZBC Reporter

A Chinese-owned firm is set to invest US$5 million into a cutting and polishing plant in Mutoko, a move which embraces government’s calls for granite companies to set up value addition and beneficiation factories.

Over the years, the granite stone industry has largely been characterised by the export of a raw and unprocessed product.

However, the Second Republic’s value addition and beneficiation calls have not fallen on deaf ears, with Chinese owned company, Richbasin Minerals, now setting up a granite cutting and polishing plant in Mutoko.

“We are happy with the support we are getting from Mutoko Rural District Council and other departments. Setting up this plant in Mutoko reduces transportation costs and here we are value-adding the stone. Mutoko has got one of the best granite stones in the country,” said Mr Lie Nie Public Relations Officer – Richbasin Minerals.

Speaking after touring the plant this Wednesday, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes Dr Joram Gumbo noted that the development resonates well with the National Development Strategy One.

“The National Development Strategy 1 recognises that the key link to structural formation is value addition and beneficiation of agriculture and mining products. Value addition and beneficiation industries will be located in specific provinces and district where the endowments are located. The black granite and polishing plant for which we are gathered here today in Mutoko is a typical example of this new strategy,” he said.

The coming in of the Chinese firm dovetails with government’s rural industrialisation agenda.

“In line with the devolution thrust, government has been calling for decentralization of economic activities to districts. Mutoko District is one of the districts that is growing economically and investments by the company brings diversity in terms of sustaining the district’s economic activities. Coming of the plant brings in diverse sources of livelihoods,” noted Mr Tavabarira Kutamahufam, Mashonaland East Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.

Construction of the plant is being done in three phases, with the first stage having been completed on the 15th of last month.