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How to register a mine in Zimbabwe

By Business Reporter – Tuesday 12 May 2020

LOCAL – HARARE (Mining Index) – BELOW is a guide on how to register a mine in Zimbabwe. The presentation was done by Kudzai Tuhwe in her personal capacity as a miner. She is a banker by profession who holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and an executive diploma in Mineral Resource Valuation from the Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM). Tuhwe has 10 years’ experience in mining finance.

Kudzai Tuhwe – Miner

Definition of a mine

An underground ore deposit, pit or excavation in the earth from which ore, rock, or mineral substances can be extracted. Zimbabwe has over 65 known minerals which one can register to exploit.

Types of mining licences (registration) one can undertake in Zimbabwe.

  • Prospecting licence (claim holder)
  • Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO)
  • Special grant
  • Mining lease
  • Special mining lease

Majority of people in Zimbabwe are claim holders (prospecting licence). Special grants are given in reserved areas such as game parks and research areas.

Mining leases for example, include the Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe licence.

An Ordinary Prospecting Licence gives one the right to prospect in a province of their choice. For example, if one obtains the licence in Mashonaland West, they can only prospect in that province only.

A Special Prospecting Licence gives access to prospect anywhere in Zimbabwe.

Application fees applicable to these licences

  • Ordinary prospecting licence – ZW$1000
  • Special prospecting licence – ZW$3750
  • EPOs – ZW$10 000
  • Mining lease – ZW$10 000
  • Special mining lease – ZW25 000
  • Special grant – ZW$10 000

Where does one start to look when looking for a mine?

  • Notice of forfeiture – these are found on notice boards in various provincial mining offices.
  • Artisanal miners can also help identify areas.

After identifying a site of interest, next step is to apply for a prospecting licence at the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

The identified site of interest must not be currently pegged for someone else. If the area of interest is in a farm which is 100 hectares or less, one has to seek consent of landowner before pegging. If the land is more than 100 hectares then the pegger will notify the land owner about his/her intentions to prospect and peg a mine within that land. You only need to notify the land owner and his or her consent is not mandatory.

The pegger will complete the required paperwork and submit to the Ministry of mines. The papers must be submitted as soon as possible because other people might come in and peg in your area and claim that they did not see your papers on intention or they might be removed by unscrupulous people who pass by the area.

If the Provincial Mining Director is satisfied that all pegging procedures have been followed, he/she will issue a certificate of registration upon payment of the gazetted fee (currently as below).This allows the holder to start mining operations subject to meeting other obligations like Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

Registration fees for a prospecting licence (claim holder) for base minerals

  • Ordinary block – ZW$2000-00
  • Special block – ZW$3750-00
  • Precious metals – ZW$1000-00
  • Special grant – ZW$5000-00
  • Precious stones (5 years) – ZW$10000-00
  • Special lease – ZW$5000-00

Other types of mine registrations are done by application through the indicated issuing authority.

Within three months from the date of registration, the miner is required to erect permanent beacons on the ground and their GPS coordinates should be recorded.

Post registration inspection fees

The first inspection after registration is done after six months and currently cost ZW$500/5 hectares for base and precious metals.

The second and subsequent inspections are done after 12 months and currently cost ZW$1000/5 hectares.

Frequently asked Questions

Q: What’s happens if we do not pay for our inspections?

A: According to Mines and Minerals Act, claims are forfeited upon failure to submit production returns and failure to pay annual inspection fees. Holders are given a period to pay and revoke their claims before they are forfeited. Once forfeited, these are advertised on the provincial notice boards and become a hunting ground for prospectors.


Q: Is one allowed to start mining operations if the Mines office delays issuing out a mining license?

A: It’s not allowed to do so. It’s taken as illegal mining. Unfortunately the registration process is taking long these days.


Q: What reprieve or remedies are there for prospective miners who peg using Forfeiture Notices but later on discover that there are no mineral resources on the said block/claim?

A: There is no reprieve. You start the process again. The prospecting licence only works once.


Q: How long can one renew the prospecting licence?

A: It is valid for 24 months.


Q: What is the size of a mining claim?

A: For precious metals, it’s up to 10 hectares. Base metals 25 hectares.


Q: What is the difference between a claim and a block?

A: A claim is one hectare and a block for precious metals is 10 hectares (10 claims). A block of base minerals is 25 hectares. Block is 500m x 200m.


Q: How many mines can one register under one prospecting licence?

A: One prospecting license = one mine.


Q: What is the normal time frame of registering a special grant for first time registration? One is not even sure of the normal time to receive the certificate.

A: It usually takes two months, but recently it can go over 6 months-12 months.


Q: What documents are required when applying for a prospecting license?

A: Just a copy of the National ID and ZW$1000.


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