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Government says it is in the process of amending some provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act to enable it to repossess under-utilised mining claims which are being held for speculation.

This follows concerns that only a tenth of the 10 000 mining claims issued were being utilised.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa told The Herald yesterday that his ministry had lodged its proposals for the Amendment Bill to the Attorney-General’s Office legal drafting department.

“We are in the process of drafting a Bill which will enable us to repossess all underutilised claims for reissuing.

“A number of mining companies are not utilising the claims issued to them,” he said.

“Currently the document is in the Attorney-General’s Office for drafting, it shall be presented in Parliament so that we may have a law which allows the ministry to claim all under utilised mining claims.”

Minister Chidhakwa said geological survey teams were currently visiting mining companies surveying the number of claims they hold, they were utilising, the minerals found and claims that were not being utilised. “Our teams of geologists are on the ground as we speak and the exercise will take at least two years to complete,” he said.

Source : The Herald