Mechanics of acquisition of mining rights in Zimbabwe

EnviroPress Reporter

There is no legislation that deals with reconnaissance in Zimbabwe.  The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the geological department may, however, make available information that may be required for one to have an understanding of the geology of Zimbabwe. 

Rights to conduct exploration are conferred by a prospecting licence/prospector’s licence upon payment of the appropriate fee prescribed in respect of each such licence to the mining commissioner. 

Prospecting licences are issued to permanent residents of Zimbabwe.  The holder can exercise these rights or appoint an agent to exercise them on his behalf. 

The prospecting licence is valid for two years, while the prospector’s licence itself is valid for five years.  Both are renewable. 

The licence confers the right of prospecting and searching for any minerals, mineral oils and natural gases on land open to prospecting, but not of removing or disposing of any mineral discovered, save for the bona fide purpose of having it assayed or of determining the nature thereof or with the permission in writing of the mining commissioner and pegging. 

The licence entitles the holder to prospect, peg and register claims in terms of the Act.  A registered claim is a mining location where mining activities can take place.

Rights to conduct exploration work can also be conferred through a special grant issued for that purpose.  This is usually the case in respect of ground that is reserved against prospecting.

An exclusive prospecting order confers exclusive rights to prospect for specified minerals in any identified location within Zimbabwe.  Exclusive prospective orders are issued for a period of three years, renewable up to a maximum of six years.

Mining rights are acquired from the state by way of tenement application.  The mining rights take various forms. 

In order to conduct mining operations, one needs to have a registered mining claims, a special grant issued for mining purposes, a mining lease or a special mining lease. 

For ease of administration, the holder of a registered mining location or of contiguous registered mining locations can apply to be issued with a mining lease.  A mining lease is issued after application by the Mining Affairs Board. 

One can also apply for a special mining lease that is issued by the President on the recommendation of the minister. 

One needs to prove that they have the capacity to invest at least USD100 million to obtain a special mining lease, which can be issued for up to 25 years with 10-year renewal periods thereafter, depending on the life of the mine. 

A special grant for mining purposes is another way of obtaining mining rights.

This project was made possible through a partnership with the Southern Africa Trust. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent that of the Trust or its associates.