By Harare Post Correspondent
Government is highly committed to supporting small scale miners across the country on their mining operations, a senior Government official has said.
Giving his Keynote address at the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Small Scale Miners Conference today at the Mine Entra, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Polite Kambamura said Government, through his Ministry was fully behind artisanal miners as they were the major producers of minerals such as gold.
Deputy Minister Kambamura encouraged the artisanal miners to register formally so that they could easily get the necessary support from Government. He said a number of small scale miners had their output unaccounted for, because they are unregistered.
“The informal way of operation provides difficulties in mining operations. Small scale miners should formalize, as they provide an opportunity for Zimbabweans with employment,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said the ministry was working tirelessly to address the issue of disputes in the mining industry. He said currently, there were disputes on the issue of mining titles as small scale miners in some areas were faced with challenges of double pegging of claims.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said the Ministry was working on implementing the Cadastre system, which is a way of registering and giving mining titles to artisanal miners in a computerized manner.
In addition, he said Government was working on finalizing on the issue of acquiring of the Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPO) by miners. He noted that consultations of those that had been rejected have started and Government was coming up with modalities to address the matter.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said small scale miners produced 60% of gold output, hence when the sector is formalized, it will be recognized at a high level. He went on to say that it is the Ministry’s vision to produce 100 tonnes of gold from the current 40 tonnes per annum by 2023.
The Small Scale Miners Conference was attended by a number of artisanal miners associations from the country’s ten provinces, including suppliers of mining equipment namely, Cure-Chem, Intra-Chem and Boltgas.