Sunday Mail Reporter
Government has made a commitment to address the multiple challenges affecting mining companies, which have led to a significant drop in revenues from mineral sales in the first half of the year.
This emerged after an inter-ministerial breakfast meeting held in the capital last week.
The meeting was attended by the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe; the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando; Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube; Minister of Power and Energy Development Fortune Chasi; Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu; Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa and senior Government officials.
Power shortages, fuel supply bottlenecks and foreign currency retention thresholds are making it difficult for miners to increase production.
Speaking after the meeting, Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe president Ms Elizabeth Nerwande commended Government for its undertaking.
“It is gratifying that Government has pledged to address the issues we raised, which are impacting negatively on mineral production. The challenges require concerted efforts by all stakeholders, a meeting of minds in the interest of the nation, as the mining sector contributes the bulk of the foreign currency earned and is the largest sectoral contributor to the gross domestic product,” said Ms Nerwande.
Miners are unhappy with foreign currency retention ratios of minerals such as gold, which are currently pegged at 55 percent.
There are fears the current policy is driving mining houses to the parallel market.
Gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners fell to 13,2 tonnes in the first six months of the year from 17,3 tonnes a year ago.