India approves bilateral agreement with Zimbabwe in mineral sector


    Harare – The Indian government says it has accorded ex-post ratification of a bilateral agreement between India and Zimbabwe for collaboration in mining, geology and mineral resources.

    In a statement issued by India’s Union Cabinet, the decision permitted the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries last month, which envisages exchanging information on resources, mining laws and policy, transferring technologies and promoting investment opportunities.

    According to the statement the bilateral agreement will also take up activities like documentation and dissemination, as well as a focus on innovation in mining and minerals.

    “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the approval of the MoU for cooperation in the field of geology, mining and mineral resources as laid down in the agreement signed between the two countries on November 3, 2018, and provide for an institutional mechanism for cooperation in the identified fields,” the Indian government statement said.

    As a follow-up of the agreement, a 20-member delegation of Indian investors would be visiting Zimbabwe early next year to explore investment opportunities in the African nation in areas of mining and minerals, government officials said.

    The Indian government said that several changes in the Zimbabwean mining industry since the change of government in the African nation had been taken positively, leading to the bilateral agreement, particularly the legislative environment that removed the clause of mandatory local listing of foreign mining companies.

    Additionally, it said that since a government-to-government framework had been established between the two countries it was expected that Indian State-run mining companies like Coal India Limited, Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) and Mineral Exploration Company Limited (MECL) would take the lead in following up the bilateral collaboration agreement.

    “In fact, the newly floated joint venture (JV) of Nalco, HCL and MECL, christened Khanij Videsh India Limited, exclusively dedicated to scout for mineral investment opportunities overseas and diversify from existing operations of each of these JV partners was expected to start diligence into investments windows in Zimbabwe following the approval of the bilateral agreement.”

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