‘Repossession of mining claims ongoing’

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Mines deputy minister Polite Kambamura

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
GOVERNMENT says the repossession of underutilised mining concessions is an ongoing process.

Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Polite Kambamura told NewsDay Business that it was not the government’s intention to take people’s mines, but encouraging them to utilise the concessions.

“The rational is not to take people’s mines, but for them to fully utilise them. Some have started working on the claims and the process is still ongoing though,” he said.

Last year, Mines minister Winston Chitando revealed that his ministry had successfully repossessed over 80 mining concessions under the “use-it or lose-it” policy.

“Use or lose” policy has been implemented. We will have formal announcements in due course. But we have repossessed over 80 assets and we will be making a formal update on this and we will continue to do so (redemption),” he told State-controlled media.

“Under Zimbabwe, which is open to the business motto, these repossessed assets will be allocated to potential investors who really want them for productive purposes in line with Agenda 1 of the National Development Strategy.”

Government has in the past announced that it was also looking forward to re-sizing some of the concessions with a huge resource base and inordinate life spans and allocating them to other potential investors.

There have been concerns that prospective investors awarded the special grants in different mining sub-sectors of the economy were holding onto the claims for speculative purposes.

This ended up depriving Zimbabwe of its potential to exploit its vast mineral resource base.

The Mines and Minerals Act empowers government to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets.

The regulation seeks to promote investment, job creation and ensure broader access to mining assets by allowing those ready to mine to file claims and obtain concessions.

In 2019, President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched a strategic roadmap for the mining industry to build a $12 billion sector by 2023.

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