Wednesday, 6 November 2019

RUSHWAYA BACKS USE IT OR LOSE IT POLICY


GOVERNMENT should speed up the implementation of the “Use-It-or-Lose It” policy to boost gold production and enhance the extracting industry in the country, Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya has said.

She made the remarks while addressing delegates during the first day of the ZMF Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Gweru Convention Centre on Tuesday.

Her remarks come at a time when Government has acknowledged that the 40 tonnes target for gold set for this year is unlikely to be achieved. Gold deliveries stand at 22 tonnes with only one month left, a far cry from last year’s record breaking 33,2 tonnes.

Ms Rushwaya said the quick implementation of the use it or lose it policy will not only help in the formalisation of the artisanal and small scale mining industry but will go a long way in boosting the extractive industry.

“We seek the revolutionarisation of the ASM sector via its formalisation. The implementation of policies will help the facilitation and the proper formalisation of the sector,” she said.
Ms Rushwaya said small-scale miners could not access mining claims held under EPOs for speculative purposes.

“The implementation of policies like use it or lose it policy, the Draft Chrome Policy as well as the gold and semi-precious policy recommendations will go a long way in boosting not only gold production but also other minerals,” she said.

Ms Rushwaya also called for the immediate realignment of Section 3 of the Gold Trade Act which criminalises possession of gold.

“Section 3 should be realigned. When it comes to production, we are a darling but when it comes to possession, we become an enemy. This should be revised as it has caused gold deliveries to dwindle at Fidelity,” she said. 

Mineral royalties, she said, should be channelled towards developing infrastructure and rehabilitation of roads within districts where the minerals are being mined.

“In line with devolution, the royalties should be channelled towards the districts within which the minerals are being extracted so that people beneft from their natural resources,” she said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Larry Mavima said small-scale miners play a critical role and as such should be given the respect they deserve.

“Small-scale miners account for about 60 percent of gold deliveries. This makes them a major player in the economic development. This is why His Excellency never thought twice about coming to meet you so that you can share your challenges with him and I am sure he will be able to provide solutions,” said Minister Mavima. Chronicle

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