HomeNewsGovernment urged to carry-out minerals audit

Government urged to carry-out minerals audit


GOVERNMENT has been urged to do exploration to determine the country’s mineral resources to enable it to enter into meaningful contracts with investors who have often been accused of fleecing the country due to lack of information.


Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy Lovemore Matuke said this on Thursday while opening a workshop organised for legislators in Kadoma by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association to discuss mining legislation.

Matuke said Zimbabwe was endowed with over 40 minerals, but the magnitude and quantity was largely unknown due to lack of information and exploration.
“It is my hope that the government will be able to get adequate information on its mineral deposits to enable it to negotiate contracts with investors that will bring meaningful benefits to the country,” Matuke said.

“There is also need to curb illicit financial flows in the mining sector as it is estimated that Zimbabwe has lost a cumulative $12 billion through secret financial deals, tax evasion and avoidance (African Development Bank and Global Financial Integrity report).”

He said it was imperative for Parliament to craft pieces of legislation to curb illicit financial flows.

The MP said the committee was also concerned by the manner in which some big mines were excluded from the indigenisation programme.

“Sometime in June this year, the Committee on Mines and Energy conducted public hearings on the gold sector and concerns were raised on the manner in which part of the 51% shares were being allocated to the indigenous people,” he said.

“The committee also observed that there were some big mines, such as Vumbachikwe in Gwanda and Metallon Gold which seemed to be exempted from the indigenisation programme.”

Matuke said the proposed Income Tax Bill was too technical and lengthy document which was difficult to understand.

“I hope the proposed Income Tax Bill will be simplified to enable legislators to grasp the key aspects of this law. Let me hasten to say this law is very bulky with over 200 pages and 224 clauses and hence would require a lot of time and patience to fully understand its impact on the economy,” he said.

Chairman of the Institute of Mining at the University of Zimbabwe Lyman Mlambo said Zimbabwe hosted 60 types of minerals, of which only 40 had been historically exploited to various extents.

“Very little exploration has been done on the country’s minerals. Zimbabwe is actually a country awaiting exploration. About 65% of the country has been mapped in terms of geological mapping, but this does not transfer to quantification of minerals,” he said.

Mlambo said the institute was not capacitated to do exploration as there was shortage of geologists, minerologists, mine engineers and other skilled expertise.

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