Mining is a core industry in Zimbabwe contributing around 12 per cent to the GDP. Some of the key minerals are gold, chrome, coal, diamonds, and lithium amongst others. There is so much untapped potential with most mineral deposits having barely being touched. Projections even state that the Zimbabwean mining industry can produce over US$12 billion every year. Some of the challenges setting back the industry are smuggling and the use of poor or old tech. There are numerous business opportunities or ideas one can take up in mining. In this article, I will explore some of them.
Preliminary Mining Services
Certain technical processes have to be done at the onset. I am referring to things such as exploration, surveying, or prospecting. This also spans things such as pegging of claims, registration, licensing, and so on. You can acquaint yourself and establish linkages that can enable you to offer these services to prospective miners. Stipulations differ depending on the mineral in question; for example, you can choose to focus on gold mining.
Buying And Selling Of Minerals
You can avoid all the dirt and tasking work to just specialize in buying and selling minerals. Some of the common niches here are gold and chrome. You can buy from small scale (artisanal) miners and then sell to official markets. The buyer usually leverages the fact that artisanal miners want quick cash. In essence, you buy at a lower price than what you will get on the official market.
Machinery And Equipment Hire Or Sales
Mining involves lots of machinery of all sorts of types and sizes. Some miners look to purchase new or second-hand machinery and equipment. Others look to lease or rent as that can be relatively cheaper. You can focus on that market that is always active. At times you can just focus on small machinery or equipment as opposed to bigger ones. For example, most people buy gold detectors which they rent out and make good money from. For some it can be vehicles, generators, water pumps and the like; the list is infinite.
Where applicable you can get into the processing business. In gold mining, certain processes require specialized machinery or plants. The same goes for areas such as chrome mining. In the area I reside, all gold miners rely on one plant for one of the key processes involved. This means the owner(s) of that plant cash in every single day. Some of the processes involved in mining can be crushing and smelting, amongst others.
Security is a highly sensitive area in mining. Some of the minerals involved are high value which necessitates the need for tight security. As such every mining venture would require security services. Spanning from physical security of the site, machinery, equipment, the mineral products and overseeing all mining operations. You can make money by starting a security firm and providing security services.
There is also a lot of construction involved in the mining industry. Construction of various kinds of structures is inevitable in substantial mining activities. There are also areas specific to mining, e.g. boring tunnels and setting up of shafts, amongst other things. These all require professional construction services. Some mining operations even necessitate the construction of houses; there is a lot involved.
Mining operations comprise several specialist areas. Some of them are engineering (electrical, civil, structural, and so on), lab sciences, metallurgy, information and communication technologies (ICTs), surveying, geology, accounting, human resource management, and many more. You can establish a business where you provide consultancy services for one or more of these areas.
Solar Power Services
Mining is an energy-heavy industry which is why it has huge bearings on energy consumption in any country. You must also bear in mind that most mining operations get set up in remote places. These are often places that are far removed from energy infrastructure. Solar energy is cleaner, renewable, and cheaper alternative. You can start a business that source and sell core solar power equipment. You can even couple that with services to install solar power grids. Most mining players are leaning more towards solar energy.
Content is indeed king and many people the world over are making money from creating content. You probably go on websites and social media platforms e.g. blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the like. Chances are the bulk of what you see on those platforms is monetized content. You can start creating content on mining topics. You can do this in the form of videos, blogs, or both. Typically in Zimbabwe, there is not that much content online on mining. You can take advantage of that by filling the gap.
Mobile Catering Services
This is just an example of the many services you can offer. For instance, think of things like bulk water services, food retail, clothing retail, and so on. Mobile catering is just one of them. This is much needed since most mining operations are done in remote areas. You can opt to go set up your mobile catering stuff near such mining sites. Alternatively, you can enter working agreements with miners or mines to bring them food daily during certain times.
It is plain for you to see there are many options for you. Most of the business ideas are service-based, which is a good thing because it gives you flexibility. Government is closely interested in mining because it is a loaded industry. Make a decision today to carve out your own niche and make some money from mining in Zimbabwe.