Zimbabwe is set to raise registration fees for platinum mines to $2.5 million from the $300 it currently costs to discourage the holding of claims for speculative purposes, state media reported on Wednesday.
The government will soon announce the changes, which will mostly target the growing platinum and diamond sectors, Prince Mupazviriho, the permanent secretary in the mines ministry, told the state-controlled Herald newspaper.
The application fee for a prospector’s licence for platinum would also soar, to $500,000 from $150, the newspaper said, citing a draft schedule prepared by the ministry.
Ministry officials could not immediately be reached.
For diamond miners, the prospecting fee will remain at $1 million, while a fee of $5 million will be required to register a claim, it said. The application fee for coal, coal-bed methane gas, mineral oils, natural gas and nuclear energy mineral resources will cost $100,000, compared to $5,000 currently.
Zimbabwe’s government, struggling to raise revenue as the economy slowly recovers from a decade-long slump, has increasingly looked to the mining sector for funding.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said he expects $600 million cash inflows from the diamond sector to help fund a $4 billion budget for 2012.
Biti also raised royalties on gold to 7 percent from 4.5 percent and on platinum to 10 percent from 5 percent.