Quicken implementation of  ‘Use-it-or-lose-it’ policy: ZMF

Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
GOVERNMENT should speed up the implementation of the “Use-It-or-Lose It” policy to boost gold production and enhance the extractive industry in the country, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya has said.

She made the remarks while addressing delegates during the first day of the ZMF annual general meeting (AGM) at the Gweru Convention Centre on Tuesday.

Her remarks come at a time when Government has acknowledged that the 40-tonne target for gold that it had set for this year was unlikely to be achieved.

Current gold deliveries stand at 22 tonnes, with only one month left, a far cry from last year’s record-breaking 33,2 tonnes.
In her speech during the ZMF AGM which seeks to find solutions to the challenges bedevilling the mining sector, Ms Ruswhaya said the quick implementation of the “Use-It-or-Lose-It” policy will not only help in the formalisation of the artisanal and small-scale mining industry, but will go a long way in boosting the extractive industry.

“We seek the revolutionarisation of the ASM sector via its formalisation. The implementation of policies will help the facilitation and the proper formalisation of the sector,” she said.

She urged Government to expedite the implementation of the policy, which is currently barring small-scale miners to access mining claims held under EPOs for speculative purposes.

“The implementation of policies like Use -It-or-Lose-It policy, the Draft Chrome policy as well as the gold and semi-precious policy recommendations will go a long way in boosting not only gold production, but also production of all other minerals. Claims that are not being utilised should be reserved for the formalisation process,” she said.

Ms Rushwaya also called for the immediate realignment of Section 3 of the Gold Trade Act which criminalises possession of gold.

“Section 3 should be realigned. When it comes to production, we are a darling, but when it comes to possession, we become an enemy. This should be revised as it has caused gold deliveries to dwindle at Fidelity,” she said.

Mineral royalties, she said, should be channelled towards developing infrastructure and rehabilitation of roads within districts and provinces where the minerals are being mined.

“In line with devolution, the royalties should be channelled towards the districts within which the minerals are being extracted so that they facilitate development of the area.
“This also goes a long way in removing double taxation,” she said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavima said small-scale miners play a critical role and as such should be given the respect they deserve.

“Small-scale miners account for about 60 percent gold deliveries. This makes them a major player in the economic development.

“This is why His Excellency never thought twice about coming to meet you so that you can share your challenges with him and I am sure he will be able to provide solutions,” said Minister Mavima.

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