Monday, July 22, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) Gvt repossesses mining land from Zimplats
This article was written by Our reporter on 29 March, at 18 : 30 PM

THE government of Zimbabwe says the decision to repossess excess ground from Zimplats was taken in full consultation with the concerned firm. Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Mr Prince Mupazviriho said it had also become clear that Zimplats was not prepared to set up a refinery plant since it had another one in South Africa.

Mr Mupazviriho said this on Wednesday during a presentation before a capacity building workshop for members of the Mines and Energy Parliamentary Portfolio Committee in Vumba, Manicaland province.

The legislators wanted to know if the decision was not arbitrary and whether or not they had been consulted Zimplats.

It had also emerged during various interactions between the parties that Zimplats was not ready to build a refinery in Zimbabwe.

“Impala built their refinery in South Africa. There is no motivation on their part to build a refinery. Here we are saying we are not getting maximum benefit, we then engaged them,” he said.

Mr Mupazviriho said that judging from the pace Zimplats was mining it would take 400 years to complete extraction of the mineral deposits.

“So should we wait for that long when we want to develop our industry … That is the basis upon which we took that decision,” said Mr Mupazviriho.

Governmment repossessed 27,948 hectares of excess ground containing platinum reserves held by Zimplats that would be allocated to new investors to ensure increased mining.

Apart from repossessing excess ground held by mining companies, Government would ban the export of semi-processed platinum in two years to compel platinum mining companies to set up a refinery in the country.

Government would soon revisit its position on the banning of chrome ore exportation. The ban saw small scale chrome miners in Mutorashanga complaining that their source of livelihood had been destroyed.

“It is an issue that is receiving very active attention. We are looking at modalities on how we can remove the ban,” said Mr Mupazviriho.

He said the decision to ban the export was motivated by the desire to encourage value addition and beneficiation.

Speaking at the same occassion, Environmenat Management Agency director general, Mrs Mutsa Chasi said there was need for an upward variation of penalties imposed on those who committed offences to do with the environment, particularly mining firms that pollute the environment.

“The highest amount of a ticket is US$5 000. So a mine can just start mining without an Environmental Impact Assemment and just pay the fine. As long as the money is in your back pocket, you can break the law,” she said.

Mrs Mutsa said there was need for EMA to have at least four inspectors permanently accredited at Chiadzwa so as to make periodic and random inspection unlike the present situation where they had to first apply for clearance before visiting the mining fields.

“We should be allowed to go with cameras because the law now requires us to produce evidence of pollution. If we cannot make random inspection, by the time we get to the mine, some evidence would have been destroyed,” she said.

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