obert mpofu 16-11-10.jpgGovernment is set to engage small-scale miners on the implementation of the newly gazetted mining licence fees in a bid to address specific concerns and promote the indigenisation drive.

The development follows widespread concerns raised by some stakeholders on the local mining industry who have argued that newly gazetted mining licence fees, which range between US$3 000 and US$5 million, are exorbitant. 

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Dr Obert Mpofu, who castigated small scale miners for holding multiple unutilised claims, expressed government’s commitment to engaging the miners to address the specific concerns in line with the indigenisation drive.

“Following complaints by small scale miners, we have since had several meetings with them in a bid to address specific concerns. We are very much alive to the need to promote the indigenisation drive in the country,” Dr Mpofu said.

Indigenisation expert, Mr Malvern Chimutashu concurred with miner, Mr Donald Chanaiwa on the significant role being played by the small scale miners in the growth of the industry and applauded the Minister for recognising the need to promote indigenous players in the industry.

“The small scale miners have been integral to the development of the sector, hence the need for the policy makers to create a conducive environment for players in the sector,” Mr Chanaiwa.

According to a statement from the ministry, the main objective for the review in the mining licence fees is to curb speculative activities within the mining sector.

According to Statutory Instrument 11 of 2012, published on January 27, 2012, registration of diamond claims now cost US$5 million while new ground rental fee is now pegged at US$3 000 per hectare per year.

Application fees for prospective coal investors has been increased from US$5 000 to US$100 000, while the registration or renewal fees is set at US$500 000.