Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) President Ms. Henrietta Rushwaya will name and shame a cartel of mining claims that has deepened its claws in the mining sector through engaging in unscrupulous hoarding of mining claims for resale.
Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe, Rushwaya condemned and labeled these claim barons as conmen who have contaminated the whole mining sector.
“We condemn this unscrupulous practice with utmost disgust. These are con men and people should be wary of such people. As ZMF we shall name and shame” said Rushwaya
The growth in mining sector has seen the rise of claim barons who acquire over 50 claims each in order for them to sell the claims to people who want to invest in the small scale mining sector at very high prices, ranging from over USD 4000 to USD10 000, when acquiring a claim from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development would just be ZWL400.
According to distant observers, the rise of mining claim barons has seen the rhetoric against Exclusive Prospecting Orders which are issued in order for the country to have an assessment of the minerals they have in finer details and possibly discovering new mines.
Mining claims barons are reportedly threatened and the issuing of EPOs will put them out of business because they will have nowhere to peg and acquire claims for resale.
Social media has reported many complains from miners who were duped by claim barons under the pretense of being sold a rich claim while on the ground, it could be an unviable claim with operational cost higher than what is realised by the mine.
Only a handful of EPOs have been granted, further, when an EPO is granted, EPO holders allow miners to peg in areas they don’t have interest in after our first pass exploration.
Stopping EPOs means the country is getting left behind in discovering new deposits from new EPOs. Only 10 percent of the EPOs according to world statistics will return viable projects suitable for the establishment of world-class mines.
This article first appeared in the December 2019 Mining Zimbabwe Magazine.