Empower Communal Miners
17 May 2023
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Gold leakage solution step 1

Business Correspondent

There is need to rename artisanal miners to communal miners.

Gold leakage is a big problem affecting the country. We as Three Wingers are in the process of identifying key holes of leakage affecting the country.

One major cause is policy framework that is in favour of commercial miners which is an elephant to ant comparison by size of land , production, machinery ‘ environmental impact, employment creation and many more.

The term artisanal miners is too fancy to describe what we do ; who are we what keeps us alive which influences policy formulation by government, local authorities and environmental management agency thereby charging heavy fees that could be easier to pay if well structured and administered in an effective manner .

In order to see why name change is important we will look at how communal farmers work and other key factors that could be important in not only curbing leakage but also enhancing stability in the mining sector.

1 Gold is distributed across all districts in the country. The way gold is distributed in the country its highly possible to have more miners than communal farmers plus contrary to popular belief artisanal miners are the poorest with regular cash to dispose with no infrastructure development with lots of credit to EMA , Ministry of Mines , RDC , mining service providers , ZIMRA and many more .

Mining is the leading source of income to most youth in the county because is abundant everywhere probability of picking a gold piece if you know it is higher than chances of making a bumper harvest in some parts of the country. Because of the above gold has become a natural currency that’s exchanged every day without a receipt or anything proof of transaction . Did you know in the mining sector 10 000usd can be exchanged through car windows without facing and never to come back because of the risks involved simply because our colonial driven policies made carrying it a taboo yet its all over the country. Since its distributed across the country it becomes easy means of livelihood for an average Zimbabwean unless laws that makes making a living a crime
Short comparison of communal farmers and communal miners
Communal farmers
1 register local at village level ; same area where gold is found
2 administered local
3 get gvt input support scheme
4 don’t pay back those loans
5 cut trees indiscriminately without EAI
6 cause erosion without management plan
7 have donor back up if things don’t go well
Communal miners
1 register outside district same land where farms are found
2 administered and reports outside district
3 are siphoned not supported by gvt and are barred access to loan or funding
4 pay levies ; commissioning and pay close to 4000usd before operations
5 Report Monthly to province regardless of output
6 have to report when decommissioning
7 registered and compliant miners pay 10times more than unregistered ones in all ways you can think of .

With information above it becomes easier to operate registration which becomes brooding ground for gold leakage, gold smuggling and host of crimes .
Registered miners find it difficult to operate because of running cost that are equivalent to medium scale mining with output purely communal.

3 gold handling , processing and possession laws.
By law only the registered miner and persons registered by him can handle and sell gold .

It also says that the ore with gold should be registered together with gold and many details.

Remember l said gold is in abundance around the country what happens when an ordinary person comes across 10grams which is 500usd yet not registered to handle gold yet next door they is a unregistered gold buyer in the community.

Too many officers visiting the mine encouraging miners to runaway.
List of offices that visiting the mine
1 mines office
2 ema
3 rdc
4 gold mobilisation
5 cid minerals
6 uniformed policy
7 other

This can be solved by one stop shop system whereby we pay % that is inclusive of all other offices so that only monitoring officers will come to monitor , train asses only .

Digital reporting and returns system can further enhance and prevent
1 double pegging
2 cut cost of reporting
3 reduce corruption in the system.

4 make data easily accessible to the public
Previous history of free gold trade .

Between 2015; 16 and 17 we were allowed to deposit gold as artisanal miners no questions asked a lot of people deposited gold without fear of being arrested for trying to make a living.
Questions like where did you get the gold who is the mine owner is it registered where is the permit were not asked just you and your national registration card . To see my point of view check gold deposit trends during that period.
NB thieves are easier to track that way that putting a cumbersome method.
From the above discussion its clear that if we handle artisanal miners just like communal farmers we close gold leakage.
To do that we should have a communal miners approach in
1 levies
2 environmental management
3 decriminalisation of gold possession and communal mining related activities including handling of cyanide and explosives
4 decentralise monitoring and registration to district level later on village level.
5 set up a digital report platform for both EMA and ministry of mines…

For more information

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Facebook: Gold Mining Consultancy Zimbabwe

Website: https://www.threewingersenterprises.com