The Sunday Mail
The Mining Affairs Board, a statutory body under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, is currently processing applications for Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) from 11 local and international mining companies, as authorities step up efforts to leverage the country’s vast mineral wealth to support economic recovery and growth.
An Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO) gives mining companies express rights to search for minerals and peg claims.
The applications under active consideration involve minerals such as uranium, diamonds, lithium and gold in eight provinces across the country.
A fortnight ago, the Mining Affairs Board — through a notice placed in the Government Gazette on January 11 — invited members of the public to comment on the applications.
According to the gazette, Canlite Mining Exploration (Pvt) Ltd has applied to undertake exploration work at three different sites in Matabeleland South.
It also seeks to prospect for minerals that include gold, silver, copper, lead, cobalt, manganese, zinc, nickel, chrome, graphite, lithium and platinum group metals (PGMs).
Further, in Matabeleland South, two companies — Infield Mining Exploration and Pearline Mining Exploration (Pvt) Ltd – have applied to prospect at seven different sites.
“The applicant (Infield) intends to prospect for gold, silver, copper, antimony, lead, cobalt, manganese, zinc, nickel, chrome, graphite, lithium and PGMs within the area which has been reserved against prospecting pending determination of this application,” reads part of the notice in the gazette.
In addition to seeking claims in Midlands and Masvingo provinces, DGL Investments Number Three also intends to prospect for gold, silver, copper, antimony, lead, cobalt, and manganese at three sites in Mashonaland West.
Zulu Lithium (Pvt) Ltd is interested in lithium, copper, tantalite, gold, tungsten and molybdenum in Midlands province.
Another company, Zimthai Tantalum (Pvt) Ltd, wants to prospect for tantalum, niobium, tin, tungsten, and lithium in Manicaland, including gold and copper in Mashonaland West.
Primecraft Investments is eyeing copper and gold in Mashonaland East, while Lambourne Limestone intends to prospect for gold in Masvingo.
Furthermore, Sinamatella Investments wishes to prospect for 23 different minerals including uranium, lithium, beryl, molybdenum, manganese, diamonds and arsenic at three sites in Matabeleland North.
Triminzim (Pvt) Ltd’s application covers gold, nickel and copper at three sites in Mashonaland Central and West.
Similarly, mining giant RioZim seeks to prospect for gold, nickel and copper at two sites in Midlands.
Mining exploration involves gathering information that helps to assess the potential of mineral deposits in an area.
While Zimbabwe has a highly diversified mineral resource base, the country is considered under-explored, with only a handful of mineral deposits known to authorities and mining companies.
Current exploration data was gathered before independence using techniques which are now considered outdated, emphasising the need for further exploration using modern methods.