By Thomas Chidamba, ZiMining Editor
The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has urged government through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to speedily amend the archaic Mines and Minerals Act if the country is to fully benefit from the vast mineral resources it has.
Speaking before a Mines Parliamentary Portfolio committee and Mines and Mining Development Ministry officials in Mutare recently, ZMF Chief Executive Officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha said it was sad that the dragging to amend the Mines Act is delaying locals from enjoying the fruits of the country’s abundant natural resources.
“Zimbabwe like other nations in Africa is rich in a variety of minerals but the blessings of this natural wealth have neither percolated up nor gravitated down to benefit the local people of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe used to be no 2 in terms of gold production after South Africa but now no 14. The World Bank and United Nations used to use Zimbabwe as an example in terms of structuring and operationalizing artisanal and small scale miners’ operations. Now they have shifted to Tanzania and Kenya,” he said.
Mr Takavarasha said they are pinning their hopes on the amendment of the Mines Act so that the practice of Artisanal and small scale miners can be formalized as they are the biggest contributors of gold to Fidelity Printers.
“We are glad that the Attorney General’s team is working on revamping The Mines and
Minerals Amendment. As such as ZMF we would want the Attorney General and Mines Legal team also to focus on regulations that are palatable to ASM issues but not limited to the following; comparable to countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon and DRC
“Artisanal and small scale miners’ potential and significance can only be realized fully by Government if there is Artisanal and Small Scale Mining development in order to promote and support the development of small-scale miners so that they increase their contribution to the fiscus of the economy.
“At peak, artisanal Miners and small scale miners used to produce 2 tonnes (of gold) per month from 2017-2019 but now challenges of arrests that have attributed to the decline in gold production statistics as recorded at FPR down to 500 kgs a month (From the period January 4 2020 to current) for various offences,” he said
Mr Takavarasha urged government through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to dictate pace in Small Scale mining finance policies and mining