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CoMZ to hosts PGMs indaba

THE Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) will host a platinum group metals (PGMs) indaba during its 2024 annual mining conference, slated for Victoria Falls this month, to address the challenges affecting the sector.

THE Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) will host a platinum group metals (PGMs) indaba during its 2024 annual mining conference, slated for Victoria Falls this month, to address the challenges affecting the sector.

The PGMs industry is experiencing weak demand, low prices and increasing costs, affecting the viability of mining operations.

The price decline for PGMs is mainly attributable to abundant supplies in the face of deteriorating global macroeconomic conditions, which generated subdued demand.

The decline in demand also emanated from increased substitution in the automotive and glass industries, favouring alternative metals over palladium and rhodium.

As a result, Zimbabwe’s exports of PGMs witnessed a substantial decline of 36,9%, in value terms to US$1,4 billion in 2023.

Large-scale producers like Zimplats and Mimosa have instituted cost-cutting measures such as retrenchments.

Addressing journalists at a Press conference on Tuesday in Harare ahead of the 2024 annual mining conference, CoMZ chief executive officer Isaac Kwesu said the indaba would address challenges affecting the PGMs sector.

“There will be a PGMs indaba to discuss pertinent matters for the PGMS industry. I am sure you know the unfolding developments surrounding the PGM industry, especially driven by the depressed commodity markets,” he said.

“We have a lot to discuss as Zimbabwe because PGMs constitute the hugest chunk of earnings in terms of contribution to exports. In 2023, I think it was the largest.  So there is a lot of interest from delegates, among other critical stakeholders and the government, who would want to know about the future of the platinum markets and how best Zimbabwe can manage this situation so that we will not be affected.”

Kwesu said they would receive presentations from various local, regional and international experts including executives of operating mines and new PGMs projects.

“So, we are going to hear more about this from both the current operators on how they have been affected by the challenges that are affecting the PGM sector. We are also going to hear from the new entrants, the investors, in terms of the appetite and desire,” he said.

“We have some projects that are currently underway. (We would like to know) to what extent these projects are going to finish on time on the back of the global challenges affecting the PGMs sector.

“So, we will also have an opportunity to meet with some international experience from South Africa on how best they are equally managing the challenges that are affecting the global platinum prices.”

Running under the theme Unlocking Growth Potential for the Zimbabwe Mining Industry, the 2024 annual mining conference will be officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on May 30.

The theme, according CoMZ president Thomas Gono, is motivated by the desire to create an environment that sustains growth to realise the economic transformation that we all desire. That transformation is an aspiration espoused under Vision 2030.

The conference will run for four days, from May 28 to May 31.

Other key speakers for the main conference include central bank governor John Mushayavanhu, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority commissioner-general Regina Chinamasa, and other local, regional and international speakers.

The conference will discuss topical issues around growth imperatives, energy solutions and financing solutions for the mining industry.

The outcome of the conference is expected to assist in promoting the development and growth of the mining sector in the medium to long term.

The event programme also includes a critical minerals symposium, exhibition and side events and activities including dinners, cocktails, and a golf tournament.

Critical issues that are going to be discussed during the critical minerals symposium session are policy and market matters, among other issues.

The guest of honour for the symposium is Winston Chitando, the Mines and Mining Development minister.

Key speakers will be drawn from an array of seasoned local, regional and international experts to share their thoughts on various discussion areas around the symposium.

These include speakers from SFA Oxford, a renowned global research institution, representatives from critical minerals markets and other experts.

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