Zimbabwe could seize idle mining claims

Zimbabwe could seize idle mining claims

HARARE, May 20 (The Source) –  Zimbabwe says it could repossess unused mining claims from large companies and redistribute them to small-scale miners in a bid to increase mineral output.  

Mining plays a critical role in the southern African nation, accounting for 60 percent of exports.

An official document distributed to mining houses attending the Chamber of Mines conference in Victoria Falls on Friday outlined that government will “implement the use it or lose it policy on mining claims.”

Last year government ordered two of the country’s top chrome producers to release some of their mining claims for redistribution, in a move which was widely criticised as spooking investors.

The Chinese-owned Zimasco has since ceded 22,000 hectares of its chrome fields while ZimAlloys recently gave up some 35 percent of its 39,175 hectares claims.

Similar move the Zimbabwean government also kicked out miners in its Marange diamond fields after they had resisted a natonalisation plan by the government.

Part of the programme’s strategies include engaging banks to accept gold sales records and geological survey reports as collateral.