The government is opening up more opportunities for the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) sector as it seeks to prioritize its growth and development in the next 12 months, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development Chairperson Hon Edmond Mkaratigwa has said.
Speaking to miners on a Whatsapp Live session on the Mining Zimbabwe WhatsApp platform, Mkaratigwa said the government has prioritized three themes for ASM development and growth in order for the sector to achieve the President’s vision for the Mining industry to become a US$12 Billion industry by 2023 subsequently helping the country become an upper middle income earned by 2030.
“The three are Formalisation of the ASM, Empowerment and Sustainable growth, then accessibility to the mineral resource and markets,” Mkaratigwa said.Formalisation is the process of making the small scale mining more organised and recognisable by the government.
It implies opening more opportunities for ASM to tap into government programmes and contribute to the mainstream economy.
The steps include more accessible registration as the starting point, then more recognition of their existence and contribution to the sector both as certificate holders and the various sub-categories in the mining process.
According to Mkaratigwa Formalisation of the ASM is the first step towards the sector getting into government programs that can allow them to be granted tax holidays.
He said through formalisation miners can be organised to speak without voice and negotiate with the government for common issues of interest.
“Formalisation of the sector is the best way for it to collectively start to be involved in national programmes. The sector should also strengthen its structures so that we also collectively advocate and negotiate for common issues of interest. It’s all about how organised we are than why the other person was given. There is a need to actually design a well-researched agenda and then lobby for it. In that way, it will find a way to the policy space.”
Miners hailed Mkaratigwa for taking his time to directly engage with them something almost non-existant in the mining circles.Issues discussed include the recent scrapped 51% local ownership requirement, formalisation of ASM, suspension of Special grants, Tax holidays, exorbitant fees, and lots more. Mining Zimbabwe