‘Investor-friendly legal, fiscal regime vital for Zim’

Addressing delegates at the recent Chamber of Mines annual general meeting (AGM), Chamber president, Jack Murehwa, said negotiations with the Government over the proposed Mines and Minerals Amendments were still ongoing. “The Chamber supports the principle of empowerment and the apparent difference with Government is purely on methodology. The Chamber wishes to build on the principle of increasing the size of the cake and not concentrating on the size of today’s slices,” he said. Mines and Mining Development Minister, Amos Midzi, in March announced the Government’s intention to increase the state’s shareholding in foreign mines to 50 percent with 25 percent being free-carry. Murehwa urged the government to consider and appreciate the financial and technical risks that drive the mining industry. Meanwhile, he said it was sad to note that total gold production for 2005 was much lower than that of 2004, especially on the part of small-scale miners. “The decline in production was very significant for millers and small scale miners and one is tempted to ask “where did all the gold produced by millers in 2004 first come from and where did it suddenly go in 2005?” The Chamber president said it was important for all stakeholders to work together to get this gold back into the mainstream and ensure that the previous sources be found and developed. Murehwa said the safety record on the mines, though still marred by some fatalities, showed an improvement in 2005 compared with 2004, adding that there was a major emphasis on mines carrying out safety programmes involving senior management. He said in order to assist in resolving the economic challenges in the country, the Chamber of Mines had increased its participation in various multi-sectoral and multi stakeholder forums set up to resolve the situation. Murehwa said the Chamber subscribed to the present National Economic Development Priority Programme launched in April to turn around the economy, and was an active participant with other sectors. The Chamber of Mines AGM was held under the theme “Let us Grow the Mining Industry and Address Empowerment.” ‘ New Ziana.

May 2006
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