Min­ers strike deal To pro­cure min­ing ex­plo­sives on dis­count

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

THE Zim­babwe Min­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (ZMF) has en­tered into an agree­ment with two min­ing ex­plo­sives sup­pli­ers to of­fer a dis­count fa­cil­ity for one of the ma­jor com­po­nents used in min­eral ex­trac­tion.

ZMF vice pres­i­dent Mr Ish­mael Kaguru said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had set sights on achiev­ing the 10 tonnes gold pro­duc­tion tar­get set by Trea­sury this year.

He, how­ever, said the feat can only be achieved or sur­passed if the Gov­ern­ment was to re­vise some of its levies and fees charged by var­i­ous au­thor­i­ties which are deemed to be ex­or­bi­tant and im­ping­ing on min­ers’ ef­forts to im­prove pro­duc­tion.

A small-scale miner is re­quired to pay $1 500 for reg­is­tra­tion and $8 000 for a milling li­cence. Use of ex­plo­sives is pegged at $1 000. En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Agency (EMA) also re­quires an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment cer­tifi­cate be­fore min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties com­mences which costs be­tween $3 000 and $10 000.

EMA also re­quires two cer­tifi­cates on haz­ardous chem­i­cal and waste man­age­ment which range from $500 to $1 000.

Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cils also charge be­tween $200 to over $1 000 on min­ers.

“In the pro­duc­tive na­ture of min­ing there is an is­sue of ex­plo­sives. The li­cence to ac­quire them is very ex­pen­sive at $1000 thus the Min­istry (of Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment) should look into that very se­ri­ously. For min­ers to pro­duce ore they first use ex­plo­sives. They may drill by hand but they will need ex­plo­sives at the end thus it’s a ma­jor com­po­nent in pro­duc­tion,” said Mr Kaguru.

He said ZMF has since en­tered into an agree­ment to pro­cure the min­ing ex­plo­sives with two sup­pli­ers at a dis­count.

“We have since ne­go­ti­ated with two sup­pli­ers and they have agreed to sell us ex­plo­sives at a dis­count through sup­ply­ing as­so­ci­a­tions with mem­bers pur­chas­ing them through their group­ings. How­ever, the mag­a­zine boxes to store the ex­plo­sives will be ap­proved by the Min­istry and the as­so­ci­a­tions should have a per­son with a blast­ing li­cence.

“The rea­son we want to do this is that most ex­plo­sives were being sold il­le­gally but the min­ers had no choice but to buy the prod­ucts from il­le­gal traders so as to en­hance their pro­duc­tion. In many cases their han­dling posed a hazard be­cause some of the min­ers fer­ried them (ex­plo­sives) us­ing pub­lic trans­port,” said Mr Kaguru.

He also said ZMF was work­ing on en­sur­ing that each min­ing as­so­ci­a­tion was pro­vided with a com­pres­sor.

“We want to work on the is­sue of com­pres­sors for each as­so­ci­a­tion so that their mem­bers are able to in­crease pro­duc­tion. We don’t want a sit­u­a­tion whereby we are al­ways de­pen­dant on Gov­ern­ment. We in­tend to work with the re­sources at our dis­posal,” said Kaguru.

He said the Gov­ern­ment should ex­pe­dite the re­lease of the $20 mil­lion gold de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tive fa­cil­ity for small-scale min­ers.

The fa­cil­ity was an­nounced by Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe (RBZ) gover­nor Dr John Man­gudya dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion of the Mid-Term Mone­tary Pol­icy state­ment last month.

“The RBZ promised to dis­burse $20 mil­lion. We are still wait­ing for that fund­ing and we hope we will get it in a short space of time. If we get the sup­port we will achieve our tar­get be­cause this sec­tor is not af­fected by drought like agri­cul­ture.

“We also need to come up with var­i­ous pro­grammes to ed­u­cate our min­ers to en­sure that they ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently har­ness min­eral re­sources to turn­around the coun­try’s econ­omy. It should also be known that the min­ing sec­tor is cur­rently the big­gest em­ployer in the coun­try,” said Mr Kaguru. @Bian­caMlilo

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