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213 mines to be repossessed by govt

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213 mines to be repossessed by govt. This is part of efforts by Government to ramp up measures to achieve a $12 billion mining industry by 2023. Under the use-it-or-lose-it policy, 213 mining concessions will be repossessed in the first phase while 21 000 hectares of mining land have been reclaimed following failure by owners to pay inspection fees.

These efforts are to create an investor-friendly environment, with mining companies prepared to invest in and operate mines having security, while those who staked claims and obtained concessions but just held them for speculation would have to give way for those willing to mine.

The Mines and Minerals Act empower the Government to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent the speculative holding of valuable assets and promote investment, job creation and ensure broader access to mining assets by allowing others ready to mine, to file claims and obtain concessions.

Speaking at a workshop for the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development to review legislation and policies governing the mining industry in Mutare yesterday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the 213 concessions being repossessed included potential medium to large mines.

“Right now, we do have a total of 213 concessions, which are being processed for ‘use-it-or-lose-it’. At this stage, 147 are at advanced stages and they are all essentially medium to large scale mines. These will be processed by end of September with the remainder being processed by end of October. That is the first phase of use it or lose it.”

A full statement on the mining concessions and how they will be distributed would be released in September and October.

The minister said his ministry had taken a deliberate stance to undertake forfeiture of all mining titles where the holders are overdue in paying the required annual inspection fees resulting in the forfeiture of the 21 000ha.

In this repossession exercise, small parcels are being consolidated to make 49 viable mining concessions that would be allotted to those genuine investors willing to start mining operations.

He said the 49 consolidated areas together with assets repossessed under the use it or lose it principle would be fully listed in a statement in September. The mining industry, said Minister Chitando was headed for great heights and indications were that the sector would be able meet the $12 billion target by 2023.

The amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act were on course and once they were done, amendments to the Gold Trade Act, the Precious Stones Act and the Mining Development Policy would then be finalised.

Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda said delays in finalising the Mines and Mineral Amendment Bill had become a stumbling block to the speedy realisation of Zimbabwe’s full mining potential.

“No serious investor is prepared to venture into a sector that has a nebulous legal framework, which does not guarantee the security of tenure and assured return on investment backed by the clarity of law,” he said.

Advocate Mudenda said the plan to grow the mining industry to a US$12 billion economy by 2023 hinged on the Bill, which when enacted into law, was critical in creating an enabling legislative investment environment.

Source – The Herald

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