Story by Stanley James, Business Editor
ZIMBABWE has set a new trajectory by recognising small-scale miners and prioritising value addition in the new mining law agenda as the government targets increased revenue generation from the country’s minerals.
Consultations on the long-awaited Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill have started to pave way for the repeal of the existing mining legislation.
The government views input from stakeholders as important in shaping the future of the mining industry, taking into consideration that some of the provisions within the existing law are no longer favourable to mining projects.
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Mr Pfungwa Kunaka said, ‘‘This Bill intends to reform the mining laws in the country and this process has been envisaged with minimum success over a long period. However, it is our hope and belief that the latest development will culminate in the finalisation of the entire process for the benefit of the mining sector value chains in Zimbabwe.’’
With the Bill proposing features like investor conditions, ensuring communities benefit from resources in their areas, facilitating the growth of small-scale miners and focusing on value addition there are high expectations the country will release more from its resources through the new law.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Edmond Mkaratigwa noted, ‘‘There are among many other issues that we have always obtained from the citizens and we need to ensure that the issues are well articulated when we complete this process, effectively it becomes very imperative that we put our shoulder to the wheel and make a law that will have a positive impact on the current generations as well as our prosperity.’’
Other features within the Bill include solving farmer-miner disputes, environmental, health and safety issues, transparency in the licensing regime of mining titles, recognition of provincial mining directors and devolution of the mining sector.
The mining industry is currently the anchor of Zimbabwe’s economy, contributing around 70 percent of export earnings and eight percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.