PLAYERS in the mining sector have started mobilising their members in preparation for the rollout of a “Command Mining” scheme as part of measures to ramp up mineral production in the country.
The proposed model draws inspiration from the successful Command Agriculture scheme being championed by the Government under the Zim-Asset’s food security and nutrition cluster.
The domestic private sector-backed farming scheme has received massive support in its first phase (2016/17) season with the country expecting to harvest more than two million tonnes of grain, which are sufficient to meet local milling and processing industry requirements.
In a notice circulated to members, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) chief executive officer Mr Wellington Takavarasha outlined the proposed programme of action in the mining sector and the list of identified stakeholders.
Under the proposed scheme, the country’s gold mining sector targets to deliver 32 tons of gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners this year from the previously set target of 28 tons.
The scheme, which has a bias towards capacitating small scale miners, proposes to prioritise working land that is rich in ore and easy to work on, allocation of mining land from reserved areas to small scale miners, implementation of the use it or lose it policy on mining claims as well as easing or reducing mining costs and speed of registration processes.
The circular also stresses the need to review the Gold Trade Act to allow for the handling and transportation of gold to buying centres, engaging banks to accept gold sales and geological survey reports as collateral.
The notice suggests that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s $40 million facility be used to mechanise existing small scale miners and then invite private capital for new entrants.
Other initiatives include provision of mining extension support services, curbing corruption, tackling gold barons and ensuring order, as well as setting up processing and buying centres in gold rich areas.
Identified partners for the scheme include ministries of mines, finance, justice, water, energy, rural development, the police, the RBZ, mining unions, financial institutions, school of mines, research institutions and local leadership.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who leads the Cabinet Committee on food security, recently hinted on the need to expand the command production model to other key sectors of the economy.