The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has pleaded with President Mnangagwa to grant a 6-month moratorium on Statutory Instrument 5 of 2023 – Base Minerals Export Control (Unbeneficiated Base Mineral Ores), in particular, the export of raw lithium ore.
In a letter seen by this publication, ZMF President Ms Henrietta Rushwaya lamented that the ban amount other things had affected the Livelihoods of small-scale miners involved in mining base minerals had been negatively impacted by the ban since the trading of the minerals was halted.
She outlined several reasons why President Mnangagwa should consider a 6-month reprieve however she reiterated that her organisation which is by far the biggest mining body in the country, still upholds and fully supports the value addition of these minerals.
“Your Excellency, this humble request has been necessitated by the following reasons:
- The unexpected ban has prejudiced standing off-take agreements between miners and international buyers some of whom had taken loans from their respective countries to finance trade in these minerals.
- Some miners have found themselves stuck with huge stockpiles thus locking Cash Flows and affecting operations.
- The temporary moratorium will unlock foreign Currency earnings to boost market liquidity and expand Government’s revenue base through royalty fee payments and associated taxes.
- Establishment of Processing Plants take between 6 months to 12 months to commission. The current market for lithium is outside Zimbabwe and companies need to export the mineral to raise capital to build the plants.
- Livelihoods of small-scale miners involved in mining base minerals have been negatively impacted by the ban since the trading of the minerals was halted.
Your Excellency, the mining of base minerals remains crucial for Zimbabwe and contributes significantly to the fiscus and as such, ZMF, as an institution, still upholds and fully supports the value addition of these minerals,” Rushwaya said in a statement.
Zimbabwe banned the export of raw lithium to enable value addition and beneficiation in an effort to see the country benefit from the clean energy revolution. However, the move was criticised by experts who say the move was rushed and seemed to sideline indigenous miners.