President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday blamed former Ministers of Mines, for failing to facilitate the biggest platinum mining project covering almost 24 thousand hectors in Mhondoro Ngezi area by Karo Resources that would have helped create more jobs in Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa on a monitoring visit to Karo grounds said the Chairman of Karo Mining Loucas Pouroulis was granted permission to establish the mine by former President Robert Mugabe in 2015 but the project could not commence until November last year.
“I first took Loucas to Former President Robert Mugabe in 2015 and he informed the President that he wanted to have permission to begin this project and the President granted him that permission in my presence but this did not happen until November last year.”
He also said Mr Pouroulis could visit the country three or four times a year but the honourable members who sat in the office of Minister of Mines from 2005 up to 2018 could not facilitate for the project to take off for reasons that are unknown.
“He was coming every year three-four times a year trying to have this project implemented
But those who came before you Mr Chitando did not facilitate, we can only speculate why”
According to Karo’s country manager Josephat Zimba, the first phase of mining can commence in three years.
If the project could have started fourteen years ago, it was supposed to have been reached full scale production by now.
Mnangagwa also argued that but noted that there was a monopoly by some mining companies over that area.
“That is 14 years ago, this project could have by now fully operational and production should have been at its highest and all the infrastructure to be created by this project could have been in place…..
There was quite a monopoly over the Great Dyke by a few companies and our former President decided to cut it into potions”
Amos Midzi was the then Minister of Mines who was succeeded by Obert Mpofu in 2009 up to September 2013. The dislocation chain went on to Walter Chidhakwa who was later on relieved of his duties by Emmerson Mnangagwa when he took over from Robert Mugabe in 2017.
Karo Resources is expected to set up an extraction mine, refining plant which will include concentration, smelting and refining to produce PGMs, including a base metal refinery and a establish a 300MW solar PV renewable energy power plant.