Source: Government moves to address gold leakages – Sunday News June 17, 2018
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
THE Government has intensified plans to put in place measures to plug gold and other minerals’ leakages as it seeks to top 30 tonnes of this year, an official has said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Mr Munesu Munodawafa said the Government was working on availing foreign currency to the mining sector which can serve as a catalyst to attract small-scale miners to market gold through the Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
There have been reports that small-scale miners are selling their gold on the black market since the Governmentannounced that 30 percent of gold delivery payments were now done through bank transfers.
The rest is paid in US dollars.
In an interview on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation annual general meeting held in Gweru last week, Mr Munodawafa said there has been an improvement in gold deliveries from small-scale miners but Government wanted to see more.
“People tend to talk of the few challenges they know like foreign currency, but the challenges are more than that. For example the issue of proximity can be a major issue,” he said.
He said there was a need for a holistic approach to the issue of gold leakages.
“There is a need to take a holistic approach as Government on this issue. We have issues like proximity that is of importance that we feel should be tackled as a matter of urgency,” he said.
Mr Munodawafa said the Government was in the process of setting up gold processing centres to curb proximity challenges, adding mobilisation teams were on the ground to raise awareness to miners on the use of proper delivery channels.
“As we speak we have 22 gold mobilisation teams that are on the ground engaging gold miners on the process of taking gold to Fidelity among other issues,” he said.
He said some Government entities such as the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) have been roped in to make use of their weigh bridges to ensure every mineral that leaves the country is accounted for.
He said the Mines and Minerals Bill that sailed through Parliament and Senate has a clause which defines a small-scale miner and gives them a special role to play in the development of the country.
The newly appointed ZMF president, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, vowed to ensure equality in the treatment of minerals in the country.
“I know gold is considered as more important as it contributes more in the country’s GDP but we should give equal importance to some of the minerals we have in the country. I was shocked to learn that we have more than 30 minerals in the country,” she said.
She urged women and youths to take up mining.
“I urge all women and youths to take up mining as it contributes a huge chunk to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Gone are the days when mining was said to be belonging to men alone,” she said.
Ms Rushwaya said her leadership will fight hard to curb disputes in mining claims, saying efforts are already in place to engage Government in resolving the disputes.