Min­is­ter ad­dresses for­feited claims is­sue

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo Mor­ris Mpala

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?

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