The Zimbabwe Artisanal and Small Scale for Sustainable Mining Council (ZAMSC) has written to the army to voice concerns over rampant illegal gold mining and revenue leakages at one of the country’s protected sanctuaries.
ZAMSMC president Wellington Takavarasha said up to 50kg was being mined and sold by illegal miners who have moved into Chewore Game Park near Karoi.
“Our wish as an organization is to move in and register these people into formal mining syndicates in order to account for all the gold produced in that area and remitted to Fidelity Printers and Refiners,” Takavarasha said in a letter addressed to 2 Infantry Brigade brigadier-general Augustine Chipwere dated January 20.
“Following reports of the recent outbreak of the illegal gold mining activities in the Kazangarare area, my organization felt duty bound to visit the affected areas in order to assess the level and scale of such activities with a view to organize, register and promote sustainable mining.”
Takavarasha also said that the gold sector requires more reforms to plug revenue leakages, citing an increase in milling costs because of side marketing.
Analysts say private gold buyers, mainly from South Africa were offering better premiums than Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a unit of the central bank that has the sole mandate to buy gold locally.
Artisanal mining according to Takavarasha, employs nearly 500 000 people in Zimbabwe and at peak accounted for the 60 percent of gold output in 2004. – The Source