- January 13, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
There must not be a debate on the granting of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) because the basic concept of growing the mining industry is through mineral exploration, renowned Geologist Mr Kennedy Mtetwa has said.
Rudairo Dickson Mapuranga
The Greater Centre Geological Services, Managing Director said if EPOs are not granted, there won’t be new minerals for the country to talk about.
Calls have been made by different geologists for the government to grant numerous EPOs that were applied in the last years in order to discover new minerals deposits for example rare earth elements, lithium, copper among others whose popularity in new technology and clean energy is growing significantly.
Mtetwa said pass exploration being passed out to companies now cannot be called exploration per se but a way to see if old mines can be reinvested into.
“If we don’t grant EPOs there simply won’t be any new mineral deposits discovered. Mineral claims are pegged on already known deposits so that is not exploration that is just trying to see if old mines can become bigger.” Mtetwa said.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation ZMF) Spokesperson, Mr. Dosman Mangisi said the advancement of the tech industry in the world is a major call towards exploration of new mineral deposits because the country might be losing a lot of investment because its minerals are not quantified.
Mangisi further said that EPOs should therefore be classified, as a measure to bring order in the granting of EPOs.
“The advancement of information and technology in the world means metals in line with that area in terms of demand for example copper and lithium. Zimbabwe has one of the largest untapped copper and lithium deposits that need to be explored.
“EPOs are not classified or granted it’s a call that EPOs should be classified, not just to have a number of EPOs.”
Mangisi also said that EPOs were supposed to be given to serious investors in order to speed up exploration and mining investment.
The ZMF Spokesperson also said that the government was supposed to promote the value addition of minerals through establishing smelters for different minerals.
“EPOs should also be given to serious investors who will be able to quantify our resources.
“The government must promote base metals and funding pilot projects, establishing smelters so that we don’t export our minerals raw.” said Mangisi.
EPOs are highly despised mainly by Artisanal and Small-scale Miners in the country as they are reportedly taking too much land yet no visible exploration is taking place. The government has been encouraged to use its “Use it or Lose it” policy to correct the holding of land for speculative processes and also reduce the size of EPO to accommodate small scale miners.