Zimbabwe's mining industry needs to be reorganised to contribute more towards the African country's economy, President Robert Mugabe told crowds gathered at the national sports stadium in Harare to celebrate the country's 37th independence anniversary on Tuesday (April 18).
Although Mugabe did not give details on what form the transformation would take, his government has in recent years pressured mining firms to transfer majority stakes to black ownership under a 2008 law and to cede some claims.
Mugabe, Zimbabwe's sole ruler since independence in 1980, said the sector made up more than 16% of the country's GDP in 2016.
Zimbabwe, where mining generates more than 50% of export earnings, holds significant mineral deposits and the world's top two platinum producers, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum, have operations there.
The government has also leaned on producers to invest in local refinery facilities.
Land owned by foreign mines
Platinum miners currently ship their matte to South Africa for processing.
Mining has overtaken agriculture as the leading provider of employment, after the Mugabe government started seizing white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks in 2000.
While Mugabe's government has signalled plans to relax the ownership rules for existing mines, it has shifted its focus to seizing land owned by foreign mines, which it claims to be idle.