Small-scale miners hail new Bill

Source: CHRONICLE

GOVERNMENT expects the reviewed Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill to be concluded in the next few months so that the sector can start benefiting from its new provisions.

Among its highlights, the Bill seeks to empower small-scale miners and assist the sector to be formalised. 

Speaking during an anti-corruption meeting on the mining sector, Matabeleland North provincial mining director, Mr Farayi Ngulube, said the new Bill was friendly to small scale miners who have over the years cried foul over exclusion from mainstream operations. 

“The development of the new Mines and Minerals Bill will have a good impact in the mining sector because of recognition of small scale miners. It is a framework for formalising them by putting their mining titles in paper,” he said.

“The new Bill will elaborate more on small scale miners and will be effective in capacitating small scale miners.” 

Mr Ngulube said the existing mining legislation has been perceived to be biased in favour of large scale miners and as a result it fuelled illegal mining activities among small scale miners.

“The legacy of small scale miners has been attributed to illegal approach, criminality and ignorance to the legal procedure and licensing. This was the perception of illegal miners,” he     said.

Mr Ngulube admitted that the process of finalising the new mines law has taken too long as the ministry was seeking to maintain high mining standards particularly on safety, environmental and health related issues. As such, he said the Bill was still being scrutinised by experts and will be shortly tabled before Parliament.

“The Bill was referred back to Parliament by the President and to the stakeholders. It is expected to be sent back to the Parliament by the end of September this year. 

“Hopefully by the end of the year it would have reached the President’s Office. It is at an advanced stage,” said Mr Ngulube. 

The workshop was organised by Transparency International Zimbabwe at a Bulawayo hotel and attended by scores of small scale miners, rural district council and Government officials. — @michellzvanyanyan2/ sheltonmasina.