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This article provides an overview of some of the key mining laws in Zimbabwe. A review of various sources including the website for the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe, Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (COMZ) and a report by the International Bar Association in conjunction with the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mining Law and Policy at University of Dundee dated December 4, 2020, list the following as the key mining laws in Zimbabwe:

Mines and Minerals Act Chapter 21:05

Mining (General) Regulations

Mining (Managements and Safety) Regulations

Mining (Health and Sanitation) Regulations

Mines and Minerals (Custom Milling Plants) Regulations

Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations

Gold Trade Act (Chapter 21:03)

Precious Stones Trade Act (Chapter 21:06)

Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27)

Environmental Regulations

Forestry Act (Chapter 19:05)

Exchange Control regulations

Water Act (Chapter 20:24)

Base Minerals Export Control Act (Chapter 21:01)

Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15)

Communal Land Act (Chapter 20:04)

Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Incorporation (Private) Act (Chapter 21:02)

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 21:04)

Indigenisation and Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33)

Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency Act (Chapter 14:13)

Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05)

This is the principal Act “principal Act” and covers aspects such as acquisition of mining rights, establishment and functions of the Mining Affairs Board, register of approved prospectors, acquisition and registration of mining rights, prospecting, mining leases, special mining leases, rights of claim holders and land owners, preservation of mining rights, working of alluvial, eluvial and certain other deposits, control of sighting of works on mining locations, abandonment and forfeiture, registration of transfers, hypothecations, options, tribute agreements and conditions governing mining rights on reserved ground, approval of tribute agreements, special grants, mining on town lands, acquisition of land by holders of mining leases or by State, expropriation of mining locations not being worked or developed, termination of entitlement to share royalties, administration of the Act and also offences and penalties.

Mining (General) Regulations

These were issued by the Minister in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act. These cover different aspects of mining and are amended by the Minister from time to time, through Statutory Instruments (SIs), in terms of section 403 of the principal Act.

Mining (Management and Safety) Regulations

These are contained in SI 109 of 1990 and contain detailed regulations that apply to all mines. These cover areas such as management and responsibility in mines, surface protection, protection in work places, outlets, ladder ways and travelling ways.

Mining (Health and Sanitation) Regulations

These provide detailed regulations on health and sanitation. They cover issues such as observance of the regulations, health officials power of entry, sanitary conditions and drainage, disposal of rubbish or refuse, disposal of carcasses, provision of latrines, provision of medical examinations, care and treatment of employees and residents, etc.

Mines and Minerals (Custom Milling Plants) Regulations

These were issued in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act and regulate the operation of custom milling plants. Amendments are made in terms of section 403 of the principal Act.

Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations

They cover the use of explosives in mining.

Gold Trade Act (Chapter 21:03)

The Act serves to prohibit the possession of gold by unauthorised persons and to regulate dealings in gold, and for other purposes connected with the foregoing. Key aspects of the Act include dealing and possession of gold, licence and permits. Gold is a controlled commodity.

Precious Stones Trade Act (Chapter 21:06)

This Act regulates the possession of and dealing in precious stones. According to section 3 of the Act unlawful dealing in or possession of precious stones is prohibited.

Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27)

The purpose of the Act is to provide for sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment, the prevention of pollution and environmental degradation, and applies to mining.

Environmental Regulations

These are issued in terms of the Environmental Management Act to address certain environmental issues in detail.

Forestry Act (Chapter 19:05)

This Act, amongst other objectives, establishes a Mining Timber Permit Board and controls the cutting and taking of timber for mining purposes.

Exchange Control Act (Chapter 22:05) and Regulations

The Act, regulations and various Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe directives, circulars and orders affect mining especially on exports of minerals, treatment of export proceeds and also imports.

Water Act (Chapter 20:24)

This provides for the development and utilisation of water resources including water for mining.

Base Minerals Export Control Act (Chapter 21:01)

This regulates the export of base minerals. Base minerals include iron ore, nickel, chrome, etc.

Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15)

Part XXI (sections 308-312) of the Mines and Mineral Act provides for mining on town land. The Urban Council Act provides for the establishment of municipalities and towns and the administration of municipalities and towns by local boards. Local boards may be required to make decisions on mining from time to time.

Communal Loans Act (Chapter 20:04)

This regulates communal land including when such land may be or is set aside for certain purposes including mining.

Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Incorporation (Private) Act (Chapter 21:02)

This Act establishes the Chamber of Mines which is a private voluntary organisation that advances interests of the mining sector in Zimbabwe.

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 21:04)

The Act establishes the MMCZ, for the control and regulation of the export, sale and stockpiling of minerals and related matters. MMCZ does not cover gold.

Indigenisation and Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33)

This Act has a bearing on areas in which foreign investors can invest in Zimbabwe as some sectors are reserved for locals.

Zimbabwe Investment Agency Act (Chapter 14:13)

For more information read my article of 10 September 2020 titled “Role of Zim Investment and Development Agency”.

Disclaimer

This simplified article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute the writer’s professional advice. Due to the numerous laws involved frequent changes are inevitable. To be compliant organisations and individuals are advised to consult adequately.

Godknows Hofisi, LLB(UNISA), B Acc(UZ), CA(Z), MBA(EBS,UK) is a legal practitioner / conveyancer with a local law firm, chartered accountant, insolvency practitioner, registered tax accountant, consultant in deal structuring, business management and tax and is an experienced director including as chairperson. He writes in his personal capacity. He can be contacted on +263 772 246 900 or gohofisi@gmail.com.

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