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Zimbabwe plans ‘use it or lose it’ mine-permit programme for gold

Government plans to ease rules on gold handling, transport.

Zimbabwe may confiscate unused mining licenses from companies and liberalize gold trading as ways to boost output.

Large mines are “sitting on lots of unused claims,” the southern African country’s Chamber of Mines said in a document outlining initiatives of the proposed Command Mining program. Revisiting the Gold Trade Act “to allow for the ease of handling and transportation of gold to buying centers” and speeding up mine registration are among other recommendations.

Zimbabwe, whose economy has halved since 2000, is looking for ways to boost output growth to almost 10% next year, mainly through agriculture and manufacturing, and by giving more people access to banking services. The country, which has the world’s biggest platinum reserves after South Africa, is experiencing a liquidity crisis that’s led to limits on daily cash withdrawals and resulted in civil servants being paid late last month.

A $40 million central bank fund will buy machinery for small-scale miners, while banks will be encouraged to accept gold-sale records and geological survey reports as collateral under Command Mining, the document showed.

Gold producers in Zimbabwe include RioZim, Metallon and Caledonia Mining Corporation.

Zimbabwe also mines chrome, coal, diamonds and nickel, among other minerals.

© 2017 Bloomberg

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