Stretching over 550 kilometres, the Great Dyke is a geological wonder that runs through the heart of Zimbabwe from north to south. It is a world-renowned mineral-rich belt that is home to one of the largest platinum deposits in the world.
The dyke is not only a source of valuable minerals but also a hub of agricultural and tourism activities that contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
The Great Dyke is a source of valuable minerals, including platinum, gold, and chrome. The platinum reserves found in the dyke are estimated to be the second-largest in the world, with Zimbabwe producing around 430,000 ounces of platinum annually.
The mining of platinum has significantly contributed to the country’s economy, with three mining giants Zimplats, Mimosa, and Unki mine employing thousands of people.
The Great Dyke’s gold deposits are also significant, with several mines producing gold in the region. The mineral is mainly extracted from the surrounding greenstone belts, which are rich in gold deposits.
Chrome mining is another significant activity in the Great Dyke, with several mines including Zimasco located in the region. Chrome is used in the manufacturing of stainless steel, and Zimbabwe is one of the world’s largest producers of the mineral.
The region is also home to a thriving agriculture sector. Cattle ranching is a significant activity in the region, with several farms located along the dyke. The cattle ranching industry is a vital source of income for many people in the region, with livestock being sold for meat and dairy products.
Crop farming is another significant agricultural activity in the Great Dyke. The region is known for its fertile soils and favourable climate conditions, which support the growth of crops such as maize, wheat, tobacco, and cotton. The agricultural sector is a significant contributor to the country’s economy, with thousands of people employed in the sector.
The Great Dyke is a popular tourist destination, with several national parks, hotels and resorts located in the region. The parks offer visitors a chance to experience Zimbabwe’s diverse wildlife and natural beauty with the other holiday destinations giving travellers a chance to experience the best of Zimbabwe’s hospitality. Notable tourist destinations in the region include Palawani Lakeworld Resort, Pote Hotel, Village Lodge, King Solomon Hotel and Kadoma Ranch Hotel.
The scenic views of the Great Dyke are also a significant tourist attraction. The dyke’s rugged terrain and unique geological formations offer visitors a chance to witness the natural beauty of the region.
The scenic views of the dyke are particularly stunning during the sunrise and sunset, where the sun’s rays illuminate the rugged terrain, creating a breathtaking view.
However, despite the Great Dyke’s vast natural resources, several challenges face the region. One of the significant challenges facing the region is environmental degradation caused by mining activities.
Mining activities have led to deforestation, land degradation, soil erosion, and pollution of water sources.
Another significant challenge facing the region is the lack of infrastructure development. The dyke’s remote location has made it difficult to develop infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and water supply systems.
Aware of the need to promote economic activities in the dyke, Buy Zimbabwe in partnership with Mejrkh Communications and Media Advisory, have organised the Great Dyke Awards to reward excellence and promote growth in companies operating in various value chains in the region.
The awards are slated for the 16th of June 2023 in Gweru with President Emmerson Mnangagwa expected to be the guest of honour.
Speaking to Great Dyke News, Buy Zimbabwe Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere said this year the Great Dyke Awards have expanded from a mining and agriculture function to a diversified event covering the manufacturing, tourism, and sporting industries.
“What we realized is we liken mining to a mustard seed. It is important but remember a mustard seed creates what is bigger than itself. The bread that comes from a mustard seed is bigger than the seed.
“Great Dyke has created a bigger ecosystem than mining. Whilst the economy revolves around mining we have a huge aquifer that is strong in agriculture.
“We have realized that there are many economic activities; tourism is big, look at the banking sector, the manufacturing sector, look at sporting, FC Platinum, and the media. So we recognized that it is actually doing injustice to ourselves to continue saying mining and agriculture and yet mining and agriculture is just a mustard seed. We need to recognize the broader ecosystem “, he said.
This year’s awards, which are the third edition, will feature a range of categories including PGM Producer of the Year, Farmers Support Champion of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Champion Manufacturer of the Year, Champion Agro Producer of the Year, and Tourism and Hospitality Champion of the Year.