Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe Mining Rush Leaves Big Producers Behind – by Felix Njini and Brian Latham (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2018)

While Zimbabwe’s leadership change has sparked a race for the nation’s mineral riches among entrepreneurs and tiny explorers, big-name mining companies are taking a wait-and-see approach.

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa has a lot to prove as he seeks to revive the economy and attract mining investment that shriveled under his predecessor, Robert Mugabe. So far, Mnangagwa has pledged investor-friendly policy changes and partially rolled back a law requiring mining companies to be locally owned.

It seems to be working, at least in some quarters. The government says mining commitments reached as much as $6 billion since Mnangagwa’s appointment, including a record $4.2 billion pledge from a company linked to mining entrepreneur Loucas Pouroulis for a platinum mine and associated infrastructure.

Others looking to invest include industry veteran Andrew Groves and his business partner and former England cricketer, Phil Edmonds. And South Africa’s Moti Group is preparing to double its investments in the country to $500 million, including in projects ranging from chrome-ore mining to fertilizers and diamond polishing.

For now though, large producers including Anglo American Plc have indicated more needs to be done on policy before they’ll make big decisions. Elections later this year will also be a big test for Mnangagwa and his government.

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