Give small-scale miners priority, government told

ZMF president George Kawonza told New Ziana he was concerned that no small-scale miners had claims in that area, which affected their business potential.

“Two mining companies ‘ Zimasco and Zimalloys ‘ have all the claims on the Great Dyke. This has affected us especially when we talk about claims for chrome, which is in abundance on the Dyke,” he said.

“We feel that they should cede some of these claims for our members to also benefit.”

Kawonza suggested that shareholding of the claims should be 80 percent in favour of small-scale miners as they were in the majority.

The 450km-long Great Dyke, which has a maximum width of 11km, runs through central Zimbabwe, and is richly endowed with gold and base metals. It boasts the world’s largest reserves of chrome and platinoids.

Kawonza has, meanwhile, hailed the initiative taken by Government to provide small-scale miners with a channel for their grievances, adding they were holding a series of meetings with the Ministry of Interactive Affairs to address the plight of the miners.

The federation has also added its voice to calls for a review of the gold price.

This comes after the Chamber of Mines requested the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to increase the gold price from $2,5 billion to $6,830 billion a kilogramme.

Kawonza said increasing the gold price would discourage miners from selling the mineral on the parallel market.

“We agree with the chamber on the need to increase the price of gold. Our research has shown that gold is being sold for about $7 billion a kilogramme on the black market.

“We propose that the central bank increase the gold price to about $10 billion a kilogramme to encourage miners to sell the gold to the Reserve Bank.” ‘ New Ziana.

July 2006
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