By Nyasha Dube
Mberengwa miners have welcomed the move by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to expedite the issuance of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs), saying the move will help address challenges that have been facing the extractive sector.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24, Mberengwa Miners Association chairperson Anderson Tsikira said EPOs have been hindering production for a long time as they have been limited to large scale mining firms.
He added that the move to reduce EPO sizes from 65 000 to 50 000 hectares will be of great benefit to small scale miners.
Recently the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) President Ms. Henrietta Rushwaya called on miners to support the programme as it seeks to lure more capital in the mining sector.
“One of the biggest challenges that have held back the mining sector in this country is that we are under-explored and our people have largely been mining in darkness.
“So we very much welcome any effort to expedite the issuance of EPOs so that we can have international companies coming in to tell us what we really are endowed with and thereby producing bankable reports that can attract capital.
“It’s not true that ZMF is against EPOs, the real people who are against EPOs are individuals who are in the business of pegging and clandestinely selling mineral-rich claims,” she said.
Zimbabwe Government’s strategy to identify, quantify and produce bankable prospectus to mineral-rich claims through the issuing of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) has gotten the buy-in of small-scale miners some of whom were threatening to scuttle the project.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, in the new dispensation, has set the need to extensively explore and quantify mineral deposits as one of its uppermost to do activities in a bid to attract capital into the country’s mining sector.