The Zimbabwe government has suspended 11 gold miners for non-compliance with mining regulations in a drastic measure to curb gold leakages and increase deliveries.

According to reports, gold leakages have been cited as a major contributor to the decline in gold sales from 27 tonnes in 1999 to 12 tonnes per year now.

Government’s target is to raise gold production levels to 30 tonnes per year by 2018.

Measures to increase production

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has developed measures to increase gold production in Zimbabwe, and these measures were approved by the country’s cabinet last week, reported the Herald.

The measures include establishment of a gold compliance enforcement co-ordinating unit comprising; the police, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Environment Management Authority, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Ministries of Mines and Mining Development, Finance and Economic Development and Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

Suspending miners

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said at a press conference yesterday that the 11 companies were found guilty of non-compliance with the gold mining and marketing procedures, with most of them failing to keep proper records of minerals being extracted and sold.

“Following the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement operations conducted by the Reserve Bank’s Exchange Control over the last three months, a number of small-scale gold producers were found to be non-compliant,” said Chidhakwa. “Some of the cases at before us include failure to keep mining records as required by law, with some being found guilty of engaging in illegal gold sales.”

Complying with regulation

Government will not allow any mining company to be connected to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company’s power grid without authorisation.

Chidhakwa said that the suspension of the 11 miners would only be lifted once Government was satisfied that the companies had fully complied.

All gold producers risk suspension is they have not registered and been issued with artisanal mining permits.
Government would review mining levies and charges by various rural district councils and EMA with a view to promote viable gold production.

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