The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando recently came out guns blazing and gave a 30-day ultimatum to all inactive platinum miners to start working on their claims or risk losing them to government by the end of this month.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the refurbished main theatre and laundry facility at Masvingo Provincial Hospital, Chitando said his ministry will not hesitate to take away claims from those who cannot exploit them.
"There are some miners who have idle mining concessions. There are four platinum ore bodies which are not being worked on. All companies with all those reserves we gave them until April 30 to come forward with very concrete plans of developing those concessions and if they fail to do so, we will apply the ‘use it or lose it’ principle as provided for in the Mining and Minerals Act," said Chitando.
He also said the measure will not apply to platinum miners only but all players in the mining industry, adding that the measures were meant to help contribute towards the country’s goal for a middle income economy by year 2030.
"This country needs development and employment. That will not be achieved when we have people who speculate. The use it or lose it principle will not only apply just to platinum but will apply to all mining concessions so my ministry in the next few weeks will be very active in identifying those concessions which are not being utilised and these will be forfeited," said Chitando.
He further stated that his ministry was just enforcing that provision of the law which has already been there concerning undeveloped mining concessions.
"The government has not been enforcing the provision of the law so we are just enforcing the provisions of the law. Before we accept your money, we want to be convinced that you are mining or developing the concession," said Chitando.
Some of the speculative miners in Masvingo have reportedly held onto mining claims since since as far back as 1970 but have done nothing to develop them.