By Tonderai Saharo
GOVERNMENT will repossess all mining concessions lying idle in the country end of this April, Mines Minister Winston Chitando has said.
The move is in line with the dictates of the country’s Mines and Minerals Act which has not been used since its enactment into law, according to Chitando.
The top government official said some mining companies in the country, particularly those with platinum ore bodies were holding on to concessions for speculative purposes.
He revealed that there are four platinum ore bodies that were given to companies for mining before the country’s independence in 1980 and to date, no exploration of the lucrative mineral has taken place.
He said all companies with mining concessions have been given up to 30 April to submit detailed plans on how they are going to develop their concessions or risk losing the mining rights.
“Government since independence has not been enforcing the Mines and Minerals Act on our country’s precious minerals like gold and platinum.
“My ministry is now active on the ground identifying mines that are not being utilised and they will be forfeited under the use it or lose it policy.
“We have set 30 April as the deadline for all those who are not utilising their concessions to submit their plans of action on how they intend to develop the mines,” he said.
Chitando added that the country is in dire need for development, employment creation and his ministry has set a target that ensures that by 2023, all the platinum and gold concessions would be operational.
This, he said, would be in line with government’s vision of making Zimbabwe a middle upper income earning country by 2030.