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Government should expeditiously table the Minerals Exploration Bill to promote evaluation of resources underground and establish their worth as part of efforts to accelerate economic growth as envisaged by Zim-Asset, Parliament has heard.

Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) said despite the abundance of mineral resources in the country, there was neither geological information nor exploration to date to determine the quantity and value of mineral resources.

He said quantifying mineral resources would attract foreign direct investment as well as enhance the country’s net worth consistent with the objectives of Zim-Asset anchored on judicious exploitation of resources.

Cde Nduna said this while debating a motion he had moved calling for an evaluation of the nation’s mineral resources.

“The Bill that I seek to be brought to Parliament is going to address the inadequacies that we have, whether by knowledge or by ignorance, of our worthiness in terms of minerals in their broad spectrum,” said Cde Nduna.

He gave the example of the Great Dyke, which he said had more than 46 minerals.

“By bringing to Parliament the Bill or the Act for exploration, I seek that the nation gets to know what it is worth,” he said.

Cde Nduna said despite knowledge that Zimbabwe had diamonds in Marange, platinum in Mashonaland West, among other minerals, their value remained unknown.

“We will also know our resource quality, quantity, grade and the mineral occurrence. The ultimate aim is to do what is called density drilling, which is one of the means of exploration. It is designed to make sure that we satisfy the economy and the statutory standards of an ore resource that we have as a nation,” said Cde Nduna.

Bulawayo South MP Mr Eddie Cross (MDC-T) said Zimbabwe’s rating was not a true reflection of what it was worth due to lack of information on the value of its minerals.

He said Zimbabwe was failing to service debts and meet its financial obligations despite it being endowed with vast mineral resources.

“Our struggle is how to unlock that potential because potentially, we are the fastest growing economy in the world.

“We are one of the new rich nations of the world because per capita, Zimbabweans have access to more natural resources than any other country on earth, including countries like Saudi Arabia,” said Mr Cross, drawing applause from legislators across the political divide.

Source : The Herald