Zimbabwe steps up formalisation of artisanal miners

By Stanley James,Business Editor

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy has recommended an accelerated formalisation plan of artisanal gold miners for them to contribute more to the sector and the economy.

The need to register all artisanal miners to curb illegal gold dealings and protect the environment has been under evaluation by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on mines and energy since the beginning of the year.

While there is consensus on the noble idea, there is concern over the slow pace of implementation as alluded to by the Chairperson of the committee, Honourable Edmond Mkratigwa.

“Registration is a very noble idea for the sake of traceability and accounting purposes so we are only calling the relevant authorities to ensure that the process is being expedited,” said Hon Mkratigwa.

For the committee, registration of artisanal miners is important in ensuring sustainable mining processes and contributing to economic growth.

“The fact that under the process, registered miners will also go for training on environmentally friendly mining methods bears testimony of the importance of the entire formalisation process in contributing more to the fiscus,” he added.

Estimates by the committee show that Zimbabwe boasts of more than one coma five million artisanal and small scale miners with only about 16 percent being registered.

Zimbabwe gets a huge proportion of foreign currency inflows from the mining industry with gold being one of the major contributors.