THE Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines has started lobbying against a proposed amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act which will compel foreign owned mines to sell 51% to locals.
According to the amendment government will get 25% for fr
ee while the remaining 26% will be paid for over a period.
Chamber of Mines president, Jack Murehwa, said the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill H.B 14 of 2007 which was gazetted on November 16 would have a serious impact on the mining industry.
“The second component introduces the issue of indeginisation into the law. Regrettably the Chamber of
Mines has serious concerns about the impact of this component on the Zimbabwean mining industry,” said Murehwa said.
Murehwa said the chamber was now planning to lobby the government to deal with the contentious clauses on the shareholding structure of foreign owned mines.
“It is therefore the intention of the Chamber of Mines and mining development on this matter with a view to seeking convergence of the though,” said Murehwa.
The Chamber of Mines has warned that the policy would put to waste all the investment that mines had put tin to their operations so far.
It is not clear how the amendment proposes to fund the acquisitions which have to be paid in foreign
currency. Zimbabwe is currently
facing serious foreign currency shortages.
“The government and locals will have to fork out at least three trillion Zimbabwe dollars (US$ 3billion) to take any significant equity in current mining operations,” said Murehwa. — Staff Writer.