Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
SMALL-scale miners continue to lobby Government to review downwards mining levies and fees in order to promote the growth of the sector and its contribution to the economy.
Through their representative body, the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF), miners have been seeking reduction in regulatory levies by margins ranging between 75 percent and 97 percent.
Speaking at the small-scale miners’ conference in Bulawayo last Wednesday, ZMF president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya said the mining levies being charged were discouraging investments and output in the sector.
“There have been quite a number of levies and charges which are being charged by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. As ZMF we feel these are still too high,” she said.
“Prospecting licensing requires us to pay $200 and for the registrations we have to pay another $200.
“We feel this is quite expensive and this should be reviewed downwards. Consequently only 16 percent out of the 30 000 small scale miners have complied and registered and the registration for artisanal miners is yet to happen.
“We are talking of plus or minus 1,5 million people who need to formally register under the Ministry. And we are suggesting that we pay at least a nominal fee of $50. Most mines have levies and charges which need to be reviewed downwards.”
On the use of explosives, Ms Rushwaya said players in the small-scale mining sector were being charged $1 000.
She said earlier before the charge was reviewed upwards there were 3 000 registered miners for blasting and handling explosives by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
However, when the figure was increased the sector only had 300 registered miners for blasting and handling but blasting and explosives continue to play a pivotal role in the sector.
Ms Rushwaya said artisanal and small-scale mines were acquiring explosives from the parallel market at a time ZMF was suggesting that a fee of at least $50 be charged for explosives.
“On other related issues, we have the inhibitive custom milling licence, which is now at $5 000 and when the fees were pegged at $2 000, there were 468 registered custom millers nationwide,” she said.
In the past, ZMF has lobbied the Government to peg the custom milling licence at $1 000. Ms Rushwaya also appealed to Government to remove multiple taxes that miners were being charged.
The multiple taxes include those charges levied by the Environmental Management Agency, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Rural District Councils and other Government departments. —@okazunga