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THE 19th edition of Mine Entra, a specialised international exhibition for the mining, engineering and transport sectors, opened in Bulawayo Wednesday with more international exhibitors participating at the expo.

Organised by the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), the expo is being held under the theme, Innovation, Beneficiation and Growth.

ZITF general manager, Nomathemba Ndlovu, said this year’s exhibition has attracted bookings from 185 direct exhibitors occupying over 4,600 square metres.

“We are excited that this year’s Mine Entra international representation in terms of number of countries is the highest,” Ndlovu said.

“We have managed to attract 17 foreign exhibitors from countries such as Belgium, People’s Republic of China, Germany, Nigeria, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and South Africa.

“The theme reflects the trust of this year’s exhibition which is to showcase innovative technologies for beneficiation and how these can be leveraged to derive macro-economic benefits.”

Officially opening the exhibition, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said his ministry had come up with a raft of new strategies to revive the mining sector.

“Cabinet has already approved our proposed new institutional arrangements meant to drive the strategies. The new institutional dispensation will emphasise on beneficiation and value addition,” said Chidhakwa.

The minister said as part of the new strategies, prospective investors in the diamond sector will now be required to process diamonds in the country as well as manufacture diamond products such as jewellery.

“We have some of the most sought after diamonds in the world but we do not have anything to show for it in terms of value addition. We cannot continue to export raw diamonds,” said Chidhakwa.

“We want to add value to our diamonds by cutting and polishing the diamonds here as well as manufacture our own jewellery branded with Zimbabwe’s culture and tradition.”

The minister also revealed that under the new institutional arrangement, mining provinces will now be headed by geologists who will replace mine commissioners.

“Mining by its nature is technical and should be led by technical people. We have also expanded the mining provinces from four to eight because we have discovered that every province has got its own minerals.

“These provinces will now be headed by qualified geologists and deputised by mining engineers and metallurgists.”

Chidhakwa said the ministry had also introduced a department which will solely focus on research on value addition and beneficiation.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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