'Artisanal mining can boost economy'

Zimabwean Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has implored government to decriminalise artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) to enable the sector to fully contribute to economic development, poverty alleviation and foreign currency retention.

In a statement, Zimcodd said government should promulgate an enabling legislative and regulatory framework that decriminalises ASM which should be supported by objective, consistent, transparent and non-discriminatory regulatory mechanisms which offer easy access to mining titles and legal production channels.

This comes after a report showed that in 2018, ASMs contributed 65,5 percent of gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries, and this year’s Monetary Policy Statement showed that gold deliveries from small- scale producers increased by 64,5 percent from 13,2 tonnes in 2017 to 21,7 tonnes in 2018.

“This amount is obviously an underestimation of their production levels considering that ASM is criminalised in Zimbabwe. The contribution made by these miners under the unfavourable conditions characterised by hide and seek operations is therefore a clear testimony that once decriminalised and supported, it can turn around the economy,” Zimcodd said.

Zimcodd added that decriminalising ASM should be a quick win for the government in terms of boosting foreign currency and export performance, because the informality of ASM does not only sabotage the potential for turning around the economy but also have negative effects on the country’s social, environmental and fiscal well-being.

“The government should use statistics highlighted in the monetary policy as a basis for incorporating ASM as a strategic component for rural development which needs both technical and financial support,” Zimcodd said. The government last month introduced the new monetary policy whereby Real Time Gross settlements (RTGS) have been formalised to RTGS dollars and the exchange rate has been officially pegged at 1: 2.5 to eradicate illegal foreign currency dealings, and promote foreign currency retention.

However, small-scale miners have withheld their gold deliveries due to lower US dollar retention barely five days after the announcement of the Monetary Policy Statement with only 20kg of gold being delivered compared to the 60kg per day on average.

Zimcodd pointed out that an attempt by the government to increase the foreign currency retention threshold for ASMs to 55 percent consistent with the bigger mining houses and proposed 30-day amortisation period for redeeming the foreign currency retention may push off the ASMs to smuggling and other alternative markets where they access 100 percent foreign currency for their proceeds.

There are approximately 500 000 artisanal and small-scale miners in Zimbabwe and over one million people are dependent on the sub-sector.

Comments (1)

Kumele benikezwe I training eyokuqala kuma school of mines kulandele I long distance diploma oyominyaka emithathu , I equipment yomsebenzi le malI yokuqalisa. I safety yomuntu osebenza endaweni enje kumele iqakathekiswe. I golide layafunakala kobulawayo nxa lisuka e matebele , ukuthi I industry ivuke imisebenzi ibeningi , kulezinkamba ze tekinoloji lezemithengo yama luxury ezifuna I golide.

Bulawayo Manufacturing - 8 March 2019

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.