via Chinamasa rapped over inconsistencies – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 7, 2015
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development has criticised Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa for providing inconsistent mining trajectories in his 2015 Mid-Term Budget policy statement.
by VENERANDA LANGA
In their report presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday by its chairperson David Chapfika, the committee felt that the minister’s projections on chrome, diamond and coal mining were overstated as their output seemed to be irregular.
“The minister projects a 3,5% growth in the sector against the initial projection of 3,1%, but the committee has reservations concerning the 500 000 tonnes projection of chrome output given that only 96 000 tonnes was produced during the first half of 2015,” the committee report reads.
“This exponential trajectory seems inconstant with the first half performance, even when one factors in the lifting of the ban on the export of raw chrome.”
On diamonds, the committee said Chinamasa’ s projection of 1,44 million carats during the first half of this year was more or less the same as that of 2014.
“Your committee noted with concern the apparent contradiction with reported reduced activity in that sector, given the pending consolidation of the sector. In addition to this, the shift from mining of alluvial diamonds to kimberlitic requires more investment,” it said.
The committee said the projected coal output of 2,8 million tonnes in 2015 against an annual projection of 7,8 million tonnes seemed overstated.
“The two-fold increase of the first half performance appears unrealistic even after taking into account improved production capacity at Hwange Colliery, which is projected at 300 000 tonnes per month,” the report reads.
“At this rate, Hwange Colliery will only be able to produce about 1,8 million tonnes during the second half of the year.
Further, not much is expected from other coal mining houses such as Makomo Resources who have scaled down operations.”
Zvishavane-Ngezi MP John Holder raised the issue of policy inconsistencies in mining.
“In the 2015 National Budget statement, the minister spoke about 15% tax exemption of raw platinum which was to be exported, but it seems this has not been implemented and does not give a good impression outside the country. I feel that he should have said something regarding the sector so that we build investor confidence in platinum mining,” he said.
Holder said the government should be serious about amending the Mines and Minerals Act.