The Sunday News
Nkosilathi Sibanda, Business Correspondent
THE recent hike in mining fees has irked small scale miners countrywide, with the Zimbabwe Federation of Miners (ZMF) pleading with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to reconsider its decision.
ZMF, the biggest miners’ representative body has noted that the increase will force some miners to engage in underhand mining which will prejudice the country of mineral revenue.
The Ministry on Thursday issued Statutory Instrument 44 of 2021 where it announced an 800 percent hike in fees.
The fees are pegged against the US$.
Miners under the ZMF banner said the increase was unaffordable.
ZMF president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya has said their organisation was going to take the matter up with Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, who is also the organisation’s patron.
“The Zimbabwe Miners Federation has noted with concern the newly gazetted prices in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) 44 of 2021.
“We are treating the matter with utmost urgency.
“The fees are too prohibitive for the majority of our miners and are likely to lead to forfeitures and forcing them into illegal mining.”
The ZMF president advised miners that a meeting with Minister Chitando was being sought so as to find ways to reach an amicable solution.
Previously, an ordinary prospecting licence cost RTGS$1 000 but has been raised to US$100 (RTGS$8 300).
A special prospecting licence is now pegged at US$750 while an application for revocation of forfeiture is now US$1 000.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development gazetted the application for a mining lease at US$2 000, while that for a special mining lease costs US$5 000. SI 44 of 2021 states that for one to register as an approved prospector they have to pay US$4 000.