The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is in the process of reviewing legislation on the Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPO) with a view of deregistering them to avail more land for mineral prospecting.
While the country is on a full throttle drive to fully exploit mineral resources, the issue of EPOs remains a factor as it consists of reserve claims by big mining companies that have not been worked on for years.
However, in the advent of small scale mining where black Zimbabweans have also ventured in what used to be a preserve of the few white minority it has dawned to government that there is a need to open new mining areas and to do this government has taken a decision to open most of these reserved areas to empower other new entrants in the mining sector.
In his presentation during the small scale miners’ indaba at the just ended 2017 Mine Entra, principal director in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Mr Valentine Vela said the disbanding of EPOs, reduction of mining fees and offering of technical services to miners constitutes a raft of measures spelt out to promote mineral extraction.
He also said the ministry is in the process of reviving the mining equipment loan scheme to those miners who are selling their gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
The undivided thrust by government to support small scale miners has been welcomed by many as key towards improving gold and chrome output.