Zimbabwean Govt Defends New Mining Fees

Murowa diamond mine

The recent increase in Zimbabwe’s mining fees was aimed at discouraging and making it costly to hold a claim for speculative purposes, a senior Government official said recently. The Government last month increased mining fees in some instances by 5 000 percent through Statutory Instrument 11 of 2012. Registration of diamond claims has increased from US$1 million to US$5 million while a gold buying licence now attracts US$100 000, up from US$20 000.

Application fees for prospective coal investors were increased from US$ 5 000 to US$100 000 while registration or renewal fee was set at US$500 000.

Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Mr Prince Mupazviriho told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy that the Government was still discussing with miners following an outcry over the new fees.

“We are in constant discussions with them in order to find a lasting solution,” he said.

“We might consider revising the levies but this does not necessarily mean downwards; it might be a revision in the other direction, that is upwards,” he added.

Mr Mupazviriho said under the existing laws it was difficult to force claim holders to relinquish an undeveloped claim hence the need to increase the mining fees.

“By increasing these fees we are not trying to chase away anyone but trying to encourage those that are serious to come and take up mining.”