Coal miners in Hwange, Zimbabwe, are crying foul over government’s exorbitant land rental fees, which they claim frustrate development in the mining sector.
According to News Day, Peter Mutsinya, chief executive officer of Liberation Mining, told the Parliamentary Mines Committee: “We are experiencing challenges on the issue of land rentals whereby before 2012 the charges were $20 per hectare, which was inhibitive, and now it has been changed to $10 per hectare and those rentals are still on the high side.”
“There is need for a relook at the royalties as they are still too high and can scare away investors,” he said.
Mutsinya also complained about the high fees charged by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NZR) to transport coal.
“The National Railways of Zimbabwe charges 5c per kilometre per tonne and that is too high a charge, and when we asked Transnet for their charges we got very competitive rates which went down to 3c per kilometre per tonne.”
He said at one time Liberation Mining even offered to supply wagons and to rebuild the railway line for the NRZ, but they were not forthcoming.
“The NRZ is key and a decision has got to be given because it is impossible to move high tonnages by road,” Mutsinya said.
He also said Zesa and Zinwa tarrifs were also too high for mining businesses.
“There are also 35 different Acts of Parliament on mining, 60 statutory instruments, 15 different ministries that administer mining issues, 20 government authorities to report to, and we feel that all these need to be codified if we are to get investment into the country because it is tedious for investors to deal with all those,” he said.
Liberation Mining, jointly owned by two Zimbabwean businessman and a Russian company, got a special coal grant in 2010.