Govt formalising artisanal miners operations


GOVERNMENT has embarked on a drive to formalise the operations of all artisanal miners as Treasury turns to small-scale miners to grow bullion output.

Tarisai Mandizha

The government has already allocated $100 million to capacitate small-scale operations.

In an interview with NewsDay, national joint taskforce for the formalisation of artisanal miner’s chairperson Wellington Takavarasha said the government has put in place a team to improve the transparency of the sector amid concerns that Treasury could be losing millions in potential revenue.

Zimbabwe, according to Takavarasha, has 1,3 million artisanal miners.
The task force for the formalisation of artisanal miners, according to Takavarasha, comprises officials from the Ministry of Finance, Mines and Mining Developments, Environment, Water and Climate, Environmental Management Agency, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Fidelity Printers  and Refiners, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

“We are going around the whole country to each and every province, mostly where we know there are high artisanal mining activities,” Takavarasha said.

Takavarasha added that the formalisation plan covers 80 places in the country, mostly known for artisanal mining activities and the exercise would be conducted over a period of three months.

“This is conservative, for example we have 10 places in Zimbabwe so we will be visiting each and every province throughout the country,” he said.

He, however, said the official launch for the formalisation of artisanal miners will take place next month in Shamva.
“In Mashonaland Central we will do the official launch and we will invite other provinces,” Takavarasha said.

He added that after concluding the exercise, the joint taskforces are expected to produce an evaluation report in line with the $100 million budget allocation by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.

According to the 2014 National Budget statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the mining sector is projected to grow by 11,4%, on the back of planned investments and largely driven by strong performance in gold, diamonds, nickel and coal.

Chinamasa said the capital intensive nature of mining activities pose challenges to the operations of many small-scale miners.

“This is notwithstanding that small scale mining activities employ a lot of people in the country. Most of these artisanal small-scale miners lack skills and, hence, government will support their capacity building programmes.

“Initiatives on joint ventures with external partners will also be supported,” Chinamasa said. Total gold output for the first eleven months of 2013 amounted to 12 914kg relative to 13 651kg in 2012, according to the Ministry of Finance.


  1. This is like legalising panning and poaching. To hell with all environmental concerns. Looks like government is depsrate to harness every dollar from this sector at the expense of order and proper investment and developmebnt in this sector.

  2. Tipeiwo ma serious! What formalization can be done in a mere 3 months? Kana iye reporter wacho anotadza kuinterrogator zvakapusa seizvi? How can taking down names, force them into syndicates and change their name from mukorokoza to artisanal miner, be termed formalization? Nhai veduwe, ngatikurei maZimbabweans. Izvi zvakutonyadzisa. VaTakavarasha wakaita census kupi yakamupa figure1.3 million makorokoza? You cannot sanitize a mukorokoza by changing his name and hope for the best! Ndokunonzi kusangana musoro, munotisekesa nenyika, muvengi arikufara nokuti hamuzivi kuti hondo ye economics inorwiwa ne hwinwa sei. Bvunzai vari mubusiness re serious mining kwete maopportunists with a glaring history of dismal failure. Vakarasha vachakurashai futi !

  3. Failure to deliver gold to Fidelity is because of the cheating being perpetrated by Fidelity. Vanotenga gold @ 93% of sport price. Chinonzi artisnal ,mining chii? $100m yakapiwa makorokza here kana kuti masmall scale miners ariregistered vachiripa mitero kuhurumende nemacouncil. Sezvataurwa naPeter we need to be serious. Mining is the responsibility of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. wild Life, environment, MMCZ, Finance, Climate vanotsvakei. Nyaya iri apa kufunga kuti kumining kune mari. SMALL SCALE MINING IS NOT THE SAME AS ARTISNAL MINING WHICH IS CURRENTLY ILLEGAL UNDER THE CURRENT LAW. HOW DO YOU LAUNCH AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY?

  4. The idea of formalizing should be visualized in away of transforming illegal mining activities in the mainstream economy.The taskforce that has been put in place is to make makorokoza aware that they should have a valid mining certificate of registration issued by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development,Furthermore they should have an eia certificate.Some of you might bbe ignorant of the fact that these miners when they were given portion of land by RDC ,Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) realised 17 tonnes from the artisanal miners.When they were being arrested ,gvt has averagely realised 2 tonnes.per annum.So the idea is to have artisanal miners realise their full potential by being recognised in the fiscus and account and mitigate on the eye sours of environmental degradation.Artisanal mining rather is occuring in the rest of africa . In Canada they are called prospecting people and the gold they dig actually given a trade mark.And in Zimbabwe it was illegal and that did not stop people from abroad coming to buy it.Now when we want to mobilize it for the benefit of the country its all about chikorokoza andthose that want to support formalization

  5. I am glad you have responded to the concerns of those that have highlighted misgivings about the so-called formalization. Yes, artisanal mining is all over Africa and other parts of the world and carries the same ills. That in itself is a very poor excuse for having it here. It’s like someone taking solace in being HIV positive because so many people are. Your approach does not rid the country of chikorokoza, sanitize it as artisanal mining, because the same approaches elsewhere in the world have failed to get rid of chikorokoza. There is an ideological and methodology and mindset change required in formalizing informal mining. This does not happen at the stroke of a pen. Zimbabwe take pride in high standards. They also will take in anyone for a ride should they see the opportunity. Makorokoza are very good at that. So your simplistic view does not cut it. Proper mine development for long-term sustainability is just not part of the chikorokoza way of doing things as they need to realize returns quickly, hence the need for mindset change. It’s difficult to teach old dogs new tricks. The idea is a noble one, no doubt, and must be supported, but we should not do it blindly! Done properly, it has profound effect on the economy, but done hurriedly like you are trying to do will have the very opposite effect. You should remember that mining is unforgiving when you make mistakes; the resource is finite and cannot be replenished. Do you know that the USA has enough energy reserves to be completely self-sufficient, but it would rather exploit elsewhere whilst keeping its reserves until they are depleted elsewhere? In a nutshell, I do not see a comprehensive strategy in your approach to tapping into the potential. The ills of externalization, environmental degradation, though known, must have coherent and comprehensible cures, not symptom alleviation. Just the notion that in 3 months you’d have formalized chikorokoza shows the shallowness of approach to the noble goal. Let’s be more serious!

  6. wakamboona mukorokoza. rinoita kunge bhinya, utsina baba no eductaion, backward almost baboonistic in nature. munhu iyeye is going to be formalised? itai tione. ha ha ha ha

  7. hapana kwationosvika. how can we formalise individuals with no equipment. they wont afford to do EIA ;pay tax or apply for registration . they are used to underdealings period. format yaGono ye CARSelone was better.

  8. The issue is not whether or not they do not know that they must be registered, the main motivation for informality is avoiding regulation costs. For the record it costs $350 for a prospecting licence, $250-$500 pegging fees, $125 for an EMA prospectus, $4 -5000. for an EIA document prepared by consultants and at least $1000.00 EIA review Fees by EMA depending on your budget, then $1000.00 for an explosives buying licence and another $1000.00 for an explosive storage licence. All this is before you start mining. Then you have the RDC to deal with, NSSA, ZIMRA, ZINWA and the list is endless. Artisnal Mining is an informal activity which is by definition an unregistered economic activity not subject to licensing and government accounting. How do you then claim that so much gold came from unregistered operations? How do you account for illegal production? You refer to miners that were registered by RDCs these were not artisnal. They were protected by the law as RDCs had been allowed to partner with SSM to carry out alluvial mining in their jurisdictions. It is not correct that they produced 17 tons of gold. Subdued delivery is due to the closure of big mines because gold mined illegally has always belonged to the black market. At its peak Renco mine used to produce 200kgs of gold per month. Now its production is around 50kg. This explains the problem in the gold mining sector.

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