Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Zimbabwe hikes diamond, coal and mining exploration fees

Effort to discourage companies from speculating on mining claims

Zimbabwe has increased exploration fees significantly for diamond and coal exploration in an attempt to discourage companies from speculating on mining claims. The government says several companies hold mining claims for speculation and that the increase in fees is seen as discouraging the practice.

State-owned newspaper The Herald revealed that the exploration fee for diamonds had increased twenty-fold to $1 million, while coal increased five-fold to $100,000. The Harare-based newspaper also revealed that various minerals including gold and chrome have also been affected.

In a move to try and discourage and curb speculation in the mining sector, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire said the adjustment would help the government attract serious investors.

“We have companies and individuals who are holding onto unused mining claims. We want serious investors in the mining sector.

“Currently, we have various mining houses who are just holding claims. This will not help the economy. We want mining for development,” said Chimanikire.

Zimbabwe has vast mineral reserves and some of the world's biggest diamond and platinum deposits, which is of great interest to multi-national companies looking to invest in the mining sector. However, investigations by the Government revealed certain claim holders were clinging to undeveloped mining ground for such speculative investment reasons and were happy to simply pay insignificant claim renewal fees.

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