Miners say 'use it or lose it' concept spot on

 Miners say 'use it or lose it' concept spot on
Published: 24 April 2019
GOVERNMENT should expedite implementation of the "use it or lose it" concept as announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa so as to unlock new economic opportunity and create more jobs, small scale miners have said.

They said the President's directive was important as the mining sector was one of the key economic pillars and a major foreign currency earner. During a recent youth indaba in Harare President Mnangagwa said mining companies holding on to claims should either use them or risk losing them to the State even if they are paying fees to keep them.

He said there were some conglomerates that have been holding on to mining claims for more than 60 years, thereby denying new players an opportunity to venture into the mining sector. The news came as sweet music to the mining sector players who hailed President Mnangagwa's bold position as progressive.  

Zimbabwe Miners' Federation (ZMF) president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya said implementation of the "use it or lose it" policy will assist in improved production targets going forward hence need to operationalise it soon.

"Certainly nothing can stop us from meeting our targets if we get enough Government support. It is high time Government walks the talk by factoring in the issues of the use or lose it policy. The President should be hailed for such a move but the implementation process should also be favourable. We don't want a situation where the concept will be abused to benefit a few," she said.

Ms Rushwaya said there were some big mining companies that have been holding on to mining claims for many years for speculative purposes with no production going on.

"We have areas which have been held on for the past years for speculative purposes. If a conglomerate has been holding on to mining claims since 1930 for speculative purposes, let them be given to small scale miners, to our youth artisanal miners who do not have somewhere to carry out activities. That way we would have eradicated unemployment, we would have eradicated illegal mining activities as well as promote safe mining methods," she said.  

Young Miners' Federation co-founder and president, Mr Payne Kupfuwa said the move by President Mnangagwa should also benefit youths in mining who have been neglected for long.

"Indeed we are in total support of the move by the President but we are saying it is time youths in mining benefit from such a move. We have been neglected for a long time. As youths it's high time we owned our own claims and not work for our parents or wait to be employed. I think it was not by coincidence that President Mnangagwa announced this during a youth indaba, it should tell you that he cares about the youths and we are all ready to accept the challenge and deliver," said Mr Kupfuwa.

The pronouncement came as gold deliveries in the first quarter of the year to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR), took a 10 percent knock compared to the same period last year. Deliveries in the first three months of the year totalled 6,5 tonnes, down from 7,3 tonnes delivered during same time last year.

The decline could dent Fidelity's 2019 target of a record 40 tonnes, which was set on the back of record breaking deliveries of 33,2 tonnes last year. Of note however, on the first quarter statistics, is the continued dominance of small scale miners over their primary producers with 64,6 percent of the deliveries having come from the former most of whom rely on rudimentary mining methods.
- chronicle
Tags: Miners,


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