MINES minister Winston Chitando yesterday read the riot act to foreign investors in the mining sector violating labour and immigration laws.
“I want all mining activities in Zimbabwe to be done in accordance to the laws of this country, and I repeat that they must observe the laws of this country. We want labour and immigration laws to be observed. Government is going to take a tough stance against those who are not going to observe these laws,” Chitando told small-scale miners and foreign investors at a Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF)-organised workshop in Harare yesterday.
“It is part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision that mineral resources must benefit Zimbabweans, and that investors get their returns or profits.”
ZMF president Henrietta Rushwaya lamented the existence of middlemen in the mining sector who buy minerals from small-scale miners for a song.
“We also intended to discuss the ban of exports which came as a relief for us because small-scale miners have been supplying lithium and other ores at unreasonable prices. This was not fair at all. Just imagine selling a tonne of lithium at US$100 per tonne while the middlemen get US$800 from it, and government is losing in terms of revenue,” Rushwaya said.
She said the ban on raw lithium exports would ensure the country cashes in on value addition.
Other issues raised during the meeting were that Chinese mining companies keep clashing with local communities due to ill-treatment of workers and flouting of the country’s labour laws.
Chinese investors formed the bulk of investors that attended the meeting. – (Newsday)