THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has said local mining fees, reviewed downwards in March, were still too high since there was a substantial increase in January this year.
In its economic review for April, AfDB said the fees could be reduced further to help the sector attract more investors.
Application fees for registration as a prospector were increased by 233 percent, from US$ 1,500 in December 2011 to US$ 5,000 in January 2012.
“The fees are still too high since there was a substantial increase of the mining fees in January 2012,” the bank said.
“The current reduction of 20 percent is still above the US$3,000 the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe recommends, thus acting as a barrier to companies entering the mining sector and reducing the profitability of those companies already in operation.”
Although the government reduced by 25 percent ordinary prospecting license fees in March 2013, this followed a 566,7 percent, increase from US$150 to US$1,000 in January 2012.
“The new gazetted figure is above the US$ 450 the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe recommends,” the bank added.
“It has been observed that these instruments also apply to indigenous players in mining, and if they are too high, it contradicts the overall objectives of the country’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment program.”
The government said it reviewed mining fees downwards to help promote investment in the sector, particularly for small-scale miners.
According to the government Gazette of March 8, 2013, application fees for registering as an approved prospector have been reduced by 20 percent, from US$ 5,000 for five years to US$4,000 for five years.
Fees for an ordinary prospecting license have been reviewed downwards by 25 percent, from US$1,000 to US$750, while levies for inspections of gold claims have been reduced from US$100/5ha to US$100/10ha.
Fees for base claims are now US$100/5ha, down from US$200/5ha.
Registration fees for gold claims remain unchanged at US$200 while first and second inspections for gold claims were reviewed downward by 50 percent from US$ 100/ha and USD 200/ha to US$ 50/ha and US$ 100/ha, respectively.
In addition, protection fees for grounds that have not been mined have been reduced by 90 percent from US$1,000 to US$100 for two months while fees for diamonds and platinum remained unchanged.Advertisement
“It has been observed that these instruments also apply to indigenous players in mining, and if they are too high, it contradicts the overall objectives of the country’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment program,” said AfDB.
In the same report, AfDB said the Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) had lodged an objection against government’s intention to compulsorily acquire 50 percent of its Impala Platinum subsidiary’s mining claims.
This was in response to the preliminary notice published in general notice 123 of 2013 in the Zimbabwean government gazette of 1 March 2013 with the intention to compulsorily acquire 27,948 ha of land held by Zimplats for the benefit of the public.
AfDB said the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) revealed that it would soon conclude a joint venture agreement with Angolan state-owned company Katoka for the mining of diamonds in the Marange after holding discussions with Angolan Government representatives at the annual Africa Mining Indaba in South Africa.