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Great Dyke, engine of national growth


With a population of over 2 million people and stretching an incredible belt of 550 kilometers of mineral laden rock from the north to the south across the centre of Zimbabwe, the Great Dyke is the short and long term engine of national growth.
While passing under the name dyke, the structure is in fact geologically a lopolith. A lopolith is defined as a large igneous intrusion which is saucer shaped with a depressed central region.
The layered igneous complex extending from Msengezi in the north to as far as Gwanda in the south, hosts the world’s largest high grade chromite resource base and contains the world’s second largest reserves of the platinum group metals.
The mountain range is also home to vast ore deposits of gold, silver, nickel and asbestos.
The six platinum-group metals are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum.
They have similar physical and chemical properties, and tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits.
The big three platinum mines, Mimosa, Unki and Zimplats are located along the Great Dyke and contribute significantly to mining and to the fiscus.
According the Parliament of Zimbabwe 2018 Budget Performance and Outlook Report the mining sector racked in US$ 2.3 billion revenue in 2017 and the figure was expected to rise to US$ 2.5 billion last year.
Figures from the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe indicate revenues totalling US$ 2.2 billion realised from the mining sector by October 2018.
Generally, the sector contributes around 13% of Gross Domestic Product and 68% of Zimbabwe’s total export receipts.
What the figures don’t show however is the potential central position of the Great Dyke in driving economic growth. With vast reserves of the precious mineral platinum and chrome as well as other metals, the belt can power economic growth.
It can also beneficiate minerals, creating value from processing ore and exporting high value minerals.
Linkages with industries such as power, generation, agriculture, tourism and heavy industry can increase economic activity and position the Great Dyke as the driving room for Zimbabwe’s growth.
With mining showing steady and strong growth over the last four years government is banking on the sector to anchor economic growth and transformation towards its Vision 2030 of making Zimbabwe a middle income country.
Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando has set US$ 4biilion revenue target for this year and US$12 billion by 2023.
It a good bet the Great Dyke will underscore its greatness by rising up to be counted when the revenue figures are computed.

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