Thursday, 1 March 2018


THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has directed miners to pay their ground rentals or risk losing their claims.

The call comes after small scale miners in Matabeleland South Province complained that the Government was forfeiting their claims without notification.

In an interview Mines Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, said some miners had gone for eight years without paying their ground rentals. He said small scale gold miners were expected to pay $20 per hectare annually.

“As a Ministry there is nothing we can do but to forfeit these claims as some miners go for seven to eight years without paying their ground rentals. Miners are supposed to pay their rentals to show that they want to continue operating in the area and if they don’t we take it that they don’t want,” he said.

“In such cases that law requires us to give notices to the miners before we forfeit the claims. Therefore, we put the miners in the forfeiture list, inform them and give them a 30 day notice. When the time elapses without response the claim is forfeited.”

Mr Munodawafa said this was all part of efforts by the ministry to fulfil its role of developing the mining sector. He said some miners were holding large tracts of mining land for speculative purposes and urged them to peg land that they could prospect.

“Some miners are not operating up to optimum and we are in the process of engaging them to ensure they deliver. We expect our output to increase and miners have a role to play. Last year we clocked 26 tonnes of gold and this year we anticipate this figure to rise beyond 30 tonnes,” said Mr Munodawafa.

“We have foreign direct investment coming into the country. A number of internationally reputable mining companies have been making inquiries and have shown interest in investing in the mining sector. Therefore, the outlook of the mining sector this year looks encouraging. We expect significant increase in output starting in the second half of the year.”
During a meeting that was held here on Monday, small scale miners from Matabeleland South province complained that the ministry was forfeiting their claims without notice. They also complained that they were failing to access loans that were set aside for miners.
Gwanda United Small Scale Miners Association Secretary, Mr Rido Mpofu said this was a challenge faced by miners throughout the province.

“The Ministry of Mines forfeits some of the claims without notifying the owners and they are given to people who are not from the province. We expect the ministry to approach the defaulters and allow them to make payment plans.

“There are loans, which are released for miners nationally but most miners in the province don’t access them. It would be better if these loans are allocated per province that way they could be evenly distributed in each province,” he said.

Mr Mpofu said the collateral security required for some loan facilities was beyond the reach of small scale miners. Chronicle


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