By Business Reporter – Monday 24 February 2020
LOCAL NEWS – HARARE (Mining Index) – ZIMBABWE Miners Federation (ZMF) is appealing to government to facilitate release of unutilised mining areas to emerging miners to speed up formalisation of the mining sector after government declared illegal mining by artisanal miners a criminal offence.
Violence caused by machete wielding gangs in artisanal miners has become rampant in key gold producing areas notably in the Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces, occasionally happening at closed gold mines where artisanal miners have flocked in search of the yellow metal.
In a memo addressed to ZMF executive members, management committee, councillors and miners, ZMF chief executive officer Wellington Takavarasha petitioned government for a mutual understanding to have artisanal miners allowed to register and access claims in agreed mining areas.
“Notice is hereby given that due to the upsurge of Machete welding gangs, the government has once again relaunched operation Chikorokoza Chapera. The crackdown is on-going throughout the entire artisanal and illegal mining sites. Illegal mining has once again been criminalized,”
“With this on-going operation, ZMF President has just put on hold all pencilled events for this month so as to monitor the situation and holistically engage the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Honourable Winston Chitando so that he facilitates for the release of land by big mining houses and other Chamber of Mines members on a mutual understanding either through a tribute arrangement or artisanal miners being allowed to register and access claims in reserved, protected and Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs),” said Takavarasha.
Takavarasha said ZMF has engaged various stakeholders including the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
“We have had a meeting with the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Honourable Winston Chitando who has vehemently stated that he will put weight behind ZMF and roll up programmes and initiatives that will benefit ZMF membership. These will be unveiled in due course,”
“Meanwhile, regional representatives should liaise with local association leadership so that they identify and list any areas that they know are owned by big mining houses which are currently dysfunctional or land that has never been utilized,” he said. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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