HomeNewsFees hike will shut out small miners

Fees hike will shut out small miners

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The National Miners Association of Zimbabwe, a representative body of small-scale miners, has pleaded with the government not to hike mining fees as that will kill small-scale miners.

The plea follows the proposal by the government to increase application fees for an ordinary prospectors licence for platinum from $150 to $500 000.

Registration will go up to $2,5 million from $300.
Ground rentals per annum will increase to $ 1 000 per hectare from $10 per five claims.

Those intending to go into diamond mining will have to fork out a registration fee of $1 million.

National Miners Association chief executive officer Peter Chiramba said if anything, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should increase fees for large companies not for small-scale miners.

They must increase the mining fees for big companies as they hold many mining claims and have the money, said Chiramba.

If you are asked to pay $500 for a prospecting licence, where do you think the small-scale miners will get it from? It means government will be encouraging illegal mining activities.

He said the fees hikes had the negative impact of increasing operating costs at a time when the miners hardly had enough resources.

Mining fees going up will push miners out of the industry. The whole purpose of uplifting and empowering local miners has been completely killed off, he said.

Chiramba said what had compounded small-scale miners situation was their failure to access funding to improve their operations.

A licence to cut and polish diamonds will attract a fee of $100 000, up from $20 000 while a gold buying licence will rise from $2 500 to $5 000.

Miners will be expected to fork out $8 000 for a custom milling licence, registering as a prospector $5 000 per year, up from $100, while an ordinary prospecting licence will cost $500 per mining district, up from $100.

A recent report by African Development Bank has revealed gold production from both small-scale and primary producers registered positive growth in 2011.
Production from small-scale producers increased from 125kg in January 2011 to about 429kg in December 2011.

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