Zimabwean Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has implored government to decriminalise
artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) to enable the sector to fully contribute to economic
development, poverty alleviation and foreign currency retention.
In a statement, Zimcodd said government should promulgate an enabling legislative and regulatory
framework that decriminalises ASM which should be supported by objective, consistent, transparent
and non-discriminatory regulatory mechanisms which offer easy access to mining titles and legal
This comes after a report showed that in 2018, ASMs contributed 65,5 percent of gold deliveries to
Fidelity Printers and Refineries, and this year’s Monetary Policy Statement showed that gold deliveries
from small- scale producers increased by 64,5 percent from 13,2 tonnes in 2017 to 21,7 tonnes in
“This amount is obviously an underestimation of their production levels considering that ASM is
criminalised in Zimbabwe. The contribution made by these miners under the unfavourable conditions
characterised by hide and seek operations is therefore a clear testimony that once decriminalised and
supported, it can turn around the economy,” Zimcodd said.
Zimcodd added that decriminalising ASM should be a quick win for the government in terms of
boosting foreign currency and export performance, because the informality of ASM does not only
sabotage the potential for turning around the economy but also have negative effects on the country’s
social, environmental and fiscal well-being.
“The government should use statistics highlighted in the monetary policy as a basis for incorporating
ASM as a strategic component for rural development which needs both technical and financial
support,” Zimcodd said. The government last month introduced the new monetary policy whereby
Real Time Gross settlements (RTGS) have been formalised to RTGS dollars and the exchange ratehas been officially pegged at 1: 2.5 to eradicate illegal foreign currency dealings, and promote foreign
However, small-scale miners have withheld their gold deliveries due to lower US dollar retention
barely five days after the announcement of the Monetary Policy Statement with only 20kg of gold
being delivered compared to the 60kg per day on average.
Zimcodd pointed out that an attempt by the government to increase the foreign currency retention
threshold for ASMs to 55 percent consistent with the bigger mining houses and proposed 30-day
amortisation period for redeeming the foreign currency retention may push off the ASMs to smuggling
and other alternative markets where they access 100 percent foreign currency for their proceeds.
There are approximately 500 000 artisanal and small-scale miners in Zimbabwe and over one million
people are dependent on the sub-sector._Daily News