The Zimbabwe Government has repossessed 32 mining concessions at were lying idle through the country as it moves to implement the “use it or lose it” policy. These concessions are part of the 213 mining concessions earmarked for repossession in the first phase.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, said the Government was serious about taking back mining concessions that are not being used for productive reasons. Furthermore, the Zim Government has also reclaimed 21 000 hectares of mining land following failure by owners to pay inspection fees.
“At the moment, on the use it or lose it policy, we have 32 out of the 213 concessions that have been processed and by end of the month, those who were holding on to them would have lost them,” he said in an interview. “There are 213 concessions earmarked for repossession under the first phase.”
He claims that many prominent businesspeople have been holding on to vast swathes of gold rich fields for speculative purposes, depriving those with capacity to mobilise capital to possess the resource.
Minister Chitando said the mining concessions will be allotted to other companies willing to immediately work on them. The Mines and Minerals Act empowers the Government to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets.
The Government plans to transform the mining sector into a US$12 billion industry by 2023 as part of its contribution towards the achievement of middle income status. By 2030 the Government expects that the mining industry alone would be generating more than US$20 billion.
The mining sector is a critical foreign currency earner as it contributes about 70 percent of the country’s forex earnings whose projected growth by 2023 represents a huge jump from the US$2,7 billion achieved in 2017.
Failing to exploit the mineral rich concessions has been viewed as one of the impediments towards achieving the national goals.