GOVERNMENT has moved in to discourage the holding of mining claims for speculative purposes as the country’s investment promotion agency experiences a surge in applications for mining investment opportunities, a senior bureaucrat has said.
Experts in the mining sector say the country has 40 base minerals, including some of the most-sought-after minerals such as platinum and lithium.
Willard Manungo, the deputy chief secretary for policy analysis, coordination and development planning in the Office of the President and Cabinet, told The NewsHawks on the sidelines of the launch of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) Mining Claims Match-making programme in Harare recently the platform is key to promoting investment in the capital-intensive mining sector.
In 2021, the ministry of Mines and Mining Development introduced the “use it or lose it” policy, in terms of which the government would repossess underutilised mining concessions.
In July 2022, cabinet approved the Mines and Mining Amendment Bill, which was presented by the minister of Justice and the deputy Attorney-General.
The Bill will, among other stipulations, require a miner to seek permission from the owner of land that is less than 200 hectares in extent before prospecting.
The mining industry welcomed the “use it or lose it” policy mentioned in question, as some miners are now fully utilising their mining concessions, thus ensuring that the country is not deprived of the opportunity to exploit its vast mineral resource base.
“There have been a lot of complaints that have been made to government that we have some instances where speculators are holding on to claims and that they have had no capacity to exploit those claims,” Manungo said.
“So the entry of the matchmaking platform lowers some of the constraints that have led to speculators sitting on the claims. But as government it is an area that we have been reviewing to ensure that to the extent that holders of claims have had the opportunity to exploit and sweat those claims. To the extent that they fail to that, then the use it or lose it principle kicks in.”
Speaking during the launch of the new platform, Zida chief executive Tafadzwa Chinamo said the investment promotion agency will showcase this new initiative at the Australia Down Under (ADU) mining conference which roars into life this week in Perth.
ADU is the leading forum for Australian-African business and government relations and was first launched to raise awareness of Australia’s interests in African mining and energy.
The three-day meeting has evolved to become the largest African-focused mining event held outside the continent itself which is reflected by the number of high-profile participants who attend each year.
Since the inaugural conference in 2003, ADU has showcased many success stories about Australian companies and organisations working across Africa.
ADU is a must-attend event for those with projects in Africa and for people and companies interested in investing or doing business in Africa. “
The Zida Mining Claims Investors Match-making Platform is a valuable resource for investors looking for opportunities to invest in the mining industry in Zimbabwe,” Chinamo said.
“The platform provides a convenient way to view registered mining claims and contact claim holders. The platform also helps to ensure that investors can find the right investment opportunities for their needs.”
According to the country’s laws, the right to conduct exploration is conferred by a prospecting licence/prospector’s licence upon payment of the appropriate fee prescribed in respect of each such licence to the mining commissioner.
Prospecting licences are issued to permanent residents of Zimbabwe. The holder can exercise these rights or appoint an agent to exercise them on his behalf.
The prospecting licence is valid for two years, while the prospector’s licence itself is valid for five years.
Both are renewable. The licence confers the right of prospecting and searching for any minerals, mineral oils and natural gases on land open to prospecting, but not of removing or disposing of any mineral discovered, save for the bona fide purpose of having it assayed or of determining the nature thereof or with the permission in writing of the Mining Commissioner and pegging.
The licence entitles the holder to prospect, peg and register claims in terms of the Act. A registered claim is a mining location where mining activities can take place.