Minister addresses forfeited claims issue
MINES and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa will be in Bulawayo today and tomorrow to address the issue of 5 267 mining claims that were forfeited by the State over non-remittance of taxes.
The forfeited mining claims in Matabeleland North and South provinces have left more than 50 000 people out of employment.
A national report is being compiled to establish the total number of claims that have been forfeited.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha said the miners’ lobby group had engaged the Minister of Mines to resolve the impasse.
“Minister Chidhakwa will be in Bulawayo today and tomorrow to address the issue of the forfeited mining claims. He will meet the Provincial Mining Directors,” said Mr Takavarasha.
Comment could not be obtained from Minister Chidhakwa as his mobile phone continually rang unanswered.
Artisanal miners have a target to produce 10 tonnes of gold this year, but have raised concerns that the multiple tax obligations they are required to pay are crippling their operations.
The miners say the target can be achieved or surpassed if the Government was to revise some of its LAND is a finite resource and just like cash it can run out. We need to use it wisely. As the population grows so does the need for space. Competition is becoming stiff and relatively costly. As people die (excuse us for being blunt) they need land. As the population grows it needs more land. It’s a very interesting scenario such that when the population increases it also increases demand for development and burial space.
And as the population increases the more we expect the mortality rate to rise as the chances of dying (numbers wise) is directly related to a growing population. The more we are the more deaths are expected, kunjalo vele.
In simple terms, for Bulawayo which has a population of about 700 000 what this loosely means is that we will need 700 000 homes and 700 000 graves at one point in the future. Probably less on the home front due to marriages and multiple numbers of people under one roof. Now the norm has always been traditional burial rites mainly in which levies and fees charged by various authorities, which are deemed exorbitant and impinging on miners’ efforts to improve production.
In 2012, the Government imposed a levy hike which saw some fees increasing astronomically making Zimbabwe one of the most expensive countries to mine.
A small-scale miner is required to pay a $100 levy to the State annually, $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 commence 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 miners from $200 to over $1 000.
Last year, the small-scale mining sector produced seven tonnes of the yellow metal up from three tonnes in 2014. From the beginning of the year to the end of September, small-scale miners have delivered about 6,5 tonnes of the yellow metal to Fidelity Printers and Refiners. — @BiancaMlilo Amadlozi ke?