THE positive winds blowing in Zimbabwe’s mining sector since the change of guard at central government has boosted investor confidence with a local investor now set to set up an explosives plant in the Midlands.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Intrachem managing director Langton Nyandoro told NewsDay that the company would sink an initial investment of $5 million in the plant. The company currently imports explosives for the mining sector.
“We have made a conscious decision to invest in a manufacturing plant in the country. This is inspired by the economic indications that we are seeing, the investment climate and the possibility of a mining boom that we think lies ahead,” Nyandoro said.
Nyandoro was speaking on the sidelines of the two-day mining investment conference that ended in Harare on Wednesday.
“This is a wholly-Zimbabwean owned company, in operation since 1990 and a leading, licensed importer of explosives as well as the processing chemicals for the mining, construction, quarrying and manufacturing industries in Zimbabwe.
“We currently employ upwards of 120 people, with this number likely to double before the end of the fourth quarter of this year,” he said.
According to Nyandoro, Intrachem’s relationship with US-based global explosives manufacture Austin Powder would benefit Zimbabwe with “skills transfer, employment creation and in line with government’s new industrialisation thrust help reduce working capital on mine”.
“We signed an agreement with our technical partner Austin Powder to help in the plant, technology, training but Intrachem retains majority shareholding. The plant we are already working on will be commissioned before the end of the year,” he said.
Since taking power on the back of a military intervention in November last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared that Zimbabwe is now open for business.
As part of a raft of measures to attract investment, Mnangagwa has made drastic amendments to the indigenisation policy that initially forced foreigners to cede 51% of shareholding to locals. The requirement is now confined to platinum and diamonds only.
The legislation was blamed for scaring away potential investors.