Small scale miners want more incentives

November 4, 2021

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

 

Zimbabwe’s gold artisanal and small-scale miners have demanded more incentives from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to ramp up production.

In June this year, RBZ through Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) introduced new measures such as the 5% incentive for miners who deliver 20kg plus to Fidelity and spot payments to improve gold figures that were going down.

But secondary gold producers want more enticements to deliver more bullion to FPR, according to a mining sector report released last week.

Artisanal and small scale miners said incentives should not be selective and any producer should get an enticement for bringing gold through the formal channel.

“Apply the 5% incentives by the central bank to all gold producers to woo every producer to deliver gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners. Classification by the amount of deliveries will discourage others especially those with very small amounts,” miners said.

According to the report, mining executives called upon the monetary authorities to regularise the sector to attract investment in the mining sector.

“The artisanal and small scale miners expect the authorities to come up with small scale financing frameworks and mining mechanisation programmes – use of claims and equipment as collateral for raising funding.

“Fidelity Printers and Refiners were also asked to  prompt the setting up of mobile buying units at gold rush spots to harness as much  yellow metal as they can,” reads part of the report.

Zimbabwe is expecting to reach 100 tonnes of gold by 2023 and the authorities believe the incentives will help them to reach the target.

FPR acting general manager Peter Magaramombe told Business Times that incentives  need to have a benchmark  to get it.

“We are giving the 5% incentives to those who deliver 20kg plus  and we will remain like that  for the meantime as we would like to encourage miners to deliver more yellow metal to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

“If we give the incentive to everyone, there won’t be a motivational factor that will pull miners to deliver to Fidelity,” Magaramombe said.

He said  miners may form groups to get these incentives.

Miners also talked about the formalisation of the ASM sector by developing relevant pieces of legislation for that purpose.

Miners said there should be transparent mining land allocation rights for the artisanal and small-scale mining sector.

The mining executives also talked about the attractive taxation regime including use of presumptive taxation in order to allow more miners to register.

Zimbabwe is said to have 40 000 registered miners and 1.5m unregistered miners hence the small scale miners want  the central bank to harmonise the  regulation governing the activities of the small-scale sector.

Furthermore, the mining executives are calling  for the monetary authorities to introduce a three-tier registration system which include artisanal mining licence, small scale mining licence and large scale mining licence.

Small scale miners want the land to be availed to be specifically designed and earmarked for Zimbabweans who are in the ASM sector.

Experts are urging the large-scale miners to tribute small scale miners so that they mine sustainably and there is a need to strengthen government institutional capacity including geo-survey mapping and implementation of the cadastre system.

The small-scale miners contribute 60% of the total gold output.

 

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