‘Gold mines face closure’


Gold Producers’ Association chairman Ian Saunders has warned that at least 75% of the country’s gold mines will shut down in the next three months if the government does not re-look mining policies.


Speaking before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development yesterday, Saunders said gold mines were facing viability challenges.

“Our assessment is that within 90 days, 75% of the gold mines in this country will be shut unless the authority changes. In short the royalties are too high, the power costs are way too high and there are a number of other initiatives.

According to Statutory Instrument 11 of 2012, a gold-buying licence attracts $5 000 while a custom milling licence was pegged at $8 000

Saunders said what was critical was to establish how the recently-launched economic blueprint Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) related to the gold mining industry.

“Our understanding of the Zim Asset is the desire of government to move towards a more sophisticated value general enquiry.

“Our issue that we have with the creation of this strategy is that fundamental to this must be the understanding that Zimbabwe is the primary producer of minerals and we produce over 40 different minerals in the country,” he said.

“All effort must be to focus the growth and of the primary sector because beneficiation and value addition is a volume business. So for arguments’ sake today no one gold producer could build a refinery, hence Fidelity Printers.
“We believe that part of the growth of the economy and the formalisation of the small-scale informal sector, in particular gold is fundamental and government has obviously identified this and there is probably significant loss of revenue to government because the informal and small-scale mining sector is not captured.”


  1. This Ian Robert Saunders is a crook. Heartless like Ian Smith and Cruel like umm ummm. Anyway this is the same guy who has imposed a 25% pay cut on his workers. They were made to sign compliance forms under duress. This was supposed to last for 3 months but is now in its 7th month. Saunders the world is watching you

    • Ian Saunders is not a crook as you may say. All gold mines in Zimbabwe and even the whole world were affected by the fall of the gold price from around $1600/ounce to about $1230/ounce. Most mines closed and are still closed. What Ian did was to avoid the mines from closing down and save jobs. At least you are earning something. If the mine had closed you were going to earn 100% of zero. think about that. things are very difficult for all businesses in Zimbabwe!!

      • What you say makes sense. Sometimes a cut in pay is required to save jobs. I know of a mine in NA where the unions went to the management and said we will take a cut in pay if you stay open. Win / Win. When prices of the commodities went up the wages went up.

        In other mines were the union said no to cuts the mines shut down. Lose / Lose.

        But I’m sure those opposed to anyone but Mugabe will not agree which is fine. But it does help to see successful practices to keep mines open and workers employed.

  2. The sector is probably facing challenges just like many other sectors in the country. The problem is the panic mode button invoked by the intimidatory remarks and the doom’s-day scenario depicted. Is it really all that bad? Or, is our supposed big gold miners behaving and operating like the informal makorokosa? Is the wholesale broadcasting of fear the most efficient and effective weapon to extract maximum concessions from government in view of the crippling financial woes the nation is facing?

    • And who are you going to replace him with/ The fat and even greedier minister of what? Think before you speak you fool… you think he is in charge of the small scale producers who cannot start their own milling operations because they are not formally recognised by government?

  3. Vana Mtape, at least Saunders uses people ” as cheap labour” whereas our own fellow black employers use their own people as slave labour! Bvunza vashandi veZisco, Railways, ZBC nevashandi vaRusell Goreraza!!!

  4. @ The Observer,ppl at Turk mine have always bn underpaid compaired to othr gold mines like How mine,Fredda and Renco,and even lesser than workers at othr small mines like Jena and Sabi.So it wasnt abt tryn to avoid company closure as u say sir,it ws to mantain profits high…and also thr is no gold mine tht has closed during tht period whr th price of gold fell,even smallest mine like Old Nic are running.

  5. What this gentleman is talking about makes a lot of sense – we need to start creating a conducive business climate to attract competitive capital which will allow us to exploit our mineral resources to fullest. Unfortunately the workers in Zim has no choice but to face reality – they now need to do a full days work to earn a full days wage – no more hiding behind the unions – that time is gone.
    Zimbabwe can only turn around if we focus on increasing productivity and efficiencies in our operations instead of rhetoric and racial profiling. We have a lot to do Zimbabwe – iwe neni tine basa!!!!

  6. Cde and friends, its true that we need to make a conducive environment in the business sector. People are tire of our own black fat and corrupt sharks who have destroyed the Zim economy…..so far Saunders is very correct and to the point. Give me six months……tichaita mbavaha and vachapandauka to Robber and Muggers. Vose varikuba vaya ndovapanduki chaivo cdes coz they used their own intelligence and discovered kuti kuba ndozvo hanti….imi mese musingadi kuba…..muri madofo muchisiya vamwe vachidya like Ministers and MPs……Next time, tichauya kumba kwako kuzokubira ok..Vhara gedhi cde hokoyo. Hapana chekumirira apa vamwe vachiba in the government. We are tired kuba chete ma cdes don’t be suprised nhai? Watch out cdes

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