Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Government has given defaulting mining title holders just over two months to renew their annual fees or risk losing their mineral rich concessions as central Government moves to stamp its authority in the sector.
This comes on the back of reports that Government was owed over $200 million by the defaulting mining firms and individuals.
The move to repossess the claims is part of Government efforts to make sure that all mineral rich assets are put to full production or at least work is seen to be done to put them into production so that the economy can begin to reap fruits of the country’s mineral endowments.
Addressing a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, revealed the decision was in line with provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act, which provides for annual fees renewal.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando told the same briefing that Government was disturbed that the majority of firms were not making efforts to pay the $200 million they owed Government as at January 2020.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Minister Chitando had advised Cabinet about mining title holders who were at odds with the Mines and Minerals Act after which Cabinet gave the defaulters up to April 30 or be evicted from minerals infested assets.
“Cabinet resolved that all holders of mining titles should pay for their annual renewal, failure of which will mean loss of these titles as provided for in the Mines and Minerals Act.
“As such, all mining title holders — those who owe money to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as at January 31, 2020 are being given until April 30 to pay up failure of which the mining title will be lost in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The ultimatum comes as Government is already in discussion with the Chamber of Mines regarding concern over the holding of mining titles for speculative reasons at the expense of serious people yearning to investment into the sector.
Last year, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development even wrote to the chamber seeking its input on how Government should proceed with the plan to withdraw mining
titles that are being held for speculative reasons in a manner that would be fair to both
Meanwhile, Cabinet resolved that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development sign a Memorandum of Agreement with an independent organisation formed by young Zimbabweans which has been playing a key role in marketing the Zimbabwe mining industry — the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” Forum.
Cabinet also took note of the role played by the forum at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town where it helped establish a Zimbabwe Lounge.