Parliament to begin gold sector inquiry

BY VENERANDA LANGA

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines will soon begin investigations into the gold sector, oneof the country’s strategic minerals when the august House resumes sitting mid-July, an official has said.

The gold sector is dogged with problems such as smuggling, illegal gold panning and machete wars in some areas of the country as miners fight for claims.

Chairperson of the Mines Portfolio Committee Edmond Mkaratigwa yesterday told NewsDay that the committee
will further do inquiries into other littleknown minerals like phosphate which is useful for the
agricultural sector.

Since the Mines Committee was reconstituted in February after former chairperson Temba Mliswa was
removed, the committee has not had oral evidence hearings.

“Investigations by the committee on the mines sector will begin during the upcoming session, and gold is
one of the minerals that we need to look into because of its strategic nature, as well as the urgent
need to address problems faced by the small-scale miners with the aim of helping them grow to become
more sustainable and more beneficial to the national economy,” Mkaratigwa said.

He said some minerals have been sidelined, yet they were more valuable in the international markets and
these include tantalite, amethyst, aquamarine, lithium and phosphate which is important for the
agricultural sector among others.

“Zimbabwe is endowed with hundreds of different types of minerals although some are already being mined
in the country and with lesser explored markets,” Mkaratigwa said.

On mineral legislative reforms, he said some of the root causes of some corrupt tendencies in the
minerals sector were permeable laws.

“When Parliament resumes sitting, the Mines and Minerals Bill that was returned to Parliament by the
President with noted reservations will be brought for re-consideration. We also need to have the Gold
and Precious Minerals Act reviewed as well as to harmonise any of the mining laws, which are still
unclear and conflicting, to ensure they are aligned with the Constitution, and that they follow
international standards,” he said.

Mkaratigwa said all impediments to investment in the mineral sector also need to be dealt with through
mineral law reforms, and where applicable through dialogue and diligent negotiations.

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