Use It or Lose It: Zimbabwe Reclaims 80 Mining Concessions

The Mines and Minerals Act permits government to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets
Zim miners at Manzou Farm

Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has stated that in line with the “use-it or lose-it” policy, Zimbabwe has repossessed over 80 mining concessions.

The government announced last year that it was also looking to redraft some of the concessions with huge resource base and inordinate life spans and allocate them to interested investors.

Prospective investors awarded the Special Grants (SG) in different mining sub-sectors of the economy were holding onto the claims for speculative purposes, this impacts real time investors.

A formal announcement regarding the repossessed idle assets will soon be made, Minister Chitando confirms.

Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando

“The ‘use-it or lose-it’ policy has been implemented. We will have formal announcements in due course. But we have repossessed over 80 assets and we will do a formal update on that, and we will continue to do that (repossessing),” he said.

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The affected sectors include coal, gold, and chrome, among others. The repossessed mining concessions are expected to be allocated to other companies willing to commence work immediately.

Through the Mines and Minerals Act, the government is permitted to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets.

Harare has said the decision to resize some of the concessions held by investors who were already on the ground follows the realisation that many potential investors were unable to realise their full potentials due to a deficit of raw materials.

In 2019, President Mnangagwa launched a mining industry strategic roadmap to build a US$12 billion sector by 2023. 

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In October 2020, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in a pre-budget statement said “Mining will be a leading sector in sustaining high and shared growth.”

Gold is expected to bring in US$4 billion a year by 2023, followed by platinum at US$3 billion, the coal, chrome, diamond, iron, and steel industries are projected to fetch US$1 billion.

By 2030 the government expects the mining industry to generate as much as US$20 billion. Experts however warn that the ambitious plans face big hurdles.

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