2 000+ mining claims repossessed in Gwanda
MORE than 2 000 mining claims in Gwanda district have been forfeited to the State after claim holders failed to pay taxes, an official has said.
Small scale-miners are required to pay an annual levy of $100 — also known as a certificate of ‘inspection.’
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development said in a public notice that reversal of forfeiture was dependent on the payment of a “revocation fee.”
Most of the forfeited claims are gold claims and others are iron, chromite, nickel and copper and other minerals.
“The Matabeleland South office of the provincial mining director put up forfeiture notices at its Gwanda and Bulawayo offices on August 4 and 5 respectively. In excess of 2 200 claims were listed on the notices,” reads part of the notice.
“Holders of the claims posted on the boards who wish to continue having title to the claims are urged to protect their title by paying the prescribed revocation fee and to bring their inspections up to date.”
Zimbabwe Mining Federation (ZMF) chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha urged the Government to be supportive of the artisanal miners’ efforts to contribute to the fiscus.
“While these miners are looking to formalise, Government should not be hard on these small scale-miners. They should rather encourage the miners to pay and continue with their business,” he said.
“Mining helps generate foreign currency and the artisanal miners’ efforts should be supported, here we’re talking about the ease of doing business for the miners, not constraints.”
A recent ZMF report says the country is home to more than 600 000 small-scale miners. Of that number, about 25 000 are registered.
Zimbabwe has also a further 700 000 of both registered and unregistered artisanal miners contributing to the country’s gold production.
Small scale-miners’ production rose from three tonnes of gold in 2014 to seven tonnes last year while big players produced 14 tonnes. This year the smallscale miners are expected to double their output to more than 14 tonnes. — BiancaMlilo
Mr Wellington Takavarasha