Zimbabwe to announce successful bidders of state-owned mining assets

Zimbabwe’s Minister for Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando has confirmed that the successful bidders of several state-owned mining assets will be announced in two weeks.

Zimbabwe Mining and Development Corporation (ZMDC) has held tenders for six mines and will put on sale its remaining 20 assets by the end of the month.

London-listed Caledonia Mining, which already operates the Blanket mine in Southern Zimbabwe, is among the confirmed bidders for two gold mines that are already on sale.

ZMDC will either sell them outright or seek joint ventures for the mines, most of which are either operating below capacity or are under care and maintenance, Chitando said.

“As government, we would like to see each and every asset owned by ZMDC getting into production,” the minister added.

The privatisation of struggling state-owned assets is part of a wider reform campaign by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, which aims to cut government expenditure.

Upon his re-election in July 2018 Mnangagwa claimed that ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’, however, the economy continues to be hampered by rapidly rising inflation and a shortage in US dollars.

Several major gold miners in Zimbabwe have been affected by the US dollar shortage, including RioZim which was forced to temporarily shut its mines.

However, gold bullion output did reach a record 994,726 ounces between January and October according to Chitando. This is compared to 952,397 ounces for the whole of 2017.