The Sunday Mail
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) has set aside US$600 000 to capacitate the minerals testing and sampling entity – Metallurgy Laboratory (Metlab) – to enable the country to capitalise on mineral exports.
The minerals marketing arm of Government, the MMCZ, is mandated with exclusive marketing and selling of all minerals produced in Zimbabwe, except for silver and gold.
The firm, however, is currently struggling with obtaining premium prices for local produce as it is unable to sample and test according to internationally accepted standards before exporting.
The minerals marketing arm has thus set aside funding to capacitate Metlab and get it international certification to enable it to do testing and sampling of minerals.
This will in turn allow premium pricing for Zimbabwean mineral exports.
MMCZ acting general manager, Mr Masimba Chandavengerwa last week told The Sunday Mail Business that a tender will soon go out to invite suppliers to come on board in the capacitation of Metlab.
He said for now, Metlab is testing and sampling the minerals largely for control purposes but their reports are not being accepted by clients.
“The MMCZ is in the process, in fact has already set aside some funding so that we equip the Metlab so that it becomes the lab that certifies all the exports out of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Chandavengerwa.
“The moment you do that you can then charge a premium and already, we have set aside US$600 000 as MMCZ for that project.
“(We want the testing) not just for chrome, but all the other minerals so I think very soon, a tender will go out so that we get service providers to equip the laboratory.
“At the moment, Metlab doesn’t have the capacity, if we were to bring more samples to them, we think that they will not manage.
“They also need new technology so that once they have got that and they become accredited, maybe ISO certified or whatever international standard, then we will know once they have done the testing and sampling here then that same material will be accepted internationally, which is not the case right now.
“For now, of course we are doing some tests before exports, but they are not accepted internationally because Metlab as it is right now is not accepted. So we are just doing it for control purposes here but the customer does not accept the standard,” he said.
President Mnangagwa has emphasized the need for Zimbabwe to recoup real value from its mineral exports in order to achieve the upper medium income status by 2030.