Robust dialogue on matters affecting Zimbabwe’s premium sector, mining, are set to take centre stage during the officially opening of the 26th edition of the Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) Expo in Bulawayo on Thursday by President Mnangagwa.
The three-day expo is traditionally held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo and it starts today.
This year’s edition of the event is running under the theme, “Accelerating Economic Transformation through Mineral Beneficiation”.
The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company, the facilitator of the event said it’s all systems go.
The Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre will house a total of nine foreign exhibitors from China, South Africa and Tanzania.
“Thursday will see us host the Mine Entra Conference and official opening ceremony. The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Dr E.D. Mnangagwa will headline the conference and officially open Mine Entra 2023.
“The President will also be presenting awards to the winning displays during the event.
“Other high-profile speakers include the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Zhemu Soda,” said the ZITF Company chief executive officer Dr Nicholas Ndebele.
At least 169 confirmed direct exhibitors, occupying 7 929 square metres of the exhibition space had confirmed participation as of Friday last week.
In terms of local participation, 60 percent of the confirmed exhibitors are coming from Harare while 31 percent are from Bulawayo and the remainder from other cities.
“As part of the organisers’ quest to proactively facilitate compliance with the proposed local content thrust and beneficiation agenda, approximately 36 percent of the participating exhibitors will be local manufacturers of mining spares and mineral processing equipment,” he said.
Dr Ndebele said they have also been assured that the city is also in a peak state of preparedness as the various stakeholders within the exhibition and business events ecosystem, including utility providers, emergency services, accommodation and transport services.
“In addition to the daily flights to and from Harare, we are pleased to note the launch of the daily return flights from Bulawayo to Johannesburg by one of the local airlines.
“We are therefore hoping to see an increase in day visitor traffic from these two cities.
“This year’s tradeshow promises to be a game-changer for the industry focusing on showcasing cutting-edge mining technologies and innovations,” said Dr Ndebele.
Additionally, it said the revamped concurrent event line-up offers a myriad of business networking opportunities for various stakeholders.
The inaugural Lithium and Battery Minerals Conference and the Mining Industry Suppliers Forum will be held today.
The suppliers’ forum provides an engagement platform to the mines as well as downstream and upstream industries in the mining value chain on current opportunities and constraints in manufacturing, local content and procurement.
“On Friday, the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe will be presenting the state of the mining industry report during the mining industry stakeholders breakfast, which will be taking place at a local hotel.
“Small-scale and artisanal miners will also have a voice during their conference, which is organised in partnership with the Zimbabwe Miners Federation.
“The conference will delve into the challenges and opportunities present in small-scale mining, with a strong emphasis on promoting sustainable mining practices,” he said.
On the international front, it is expected that representation from Australia, Botswana, China, Palestine and South Africa will be on the ground searching for bilateral opportunities in terms of knowledge sharing, investment and value chain development.