GOVERNMENT has granted five more mining firms permission to import capital equipment duty-free as it seeks to encourage investment into one of the sectors that economic analysts say is poised for growth.
According to Statutory Instrument 11 and 16 of 2016, published on January 29 and February 5, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) would for three years not charge import duty to the mining firms when they import capital equipment.
The five mining firms are diamond outfits, Marange Resources (Private) Limited, Murowa Diamonds (Private) Limited, as well as Acceball Investments (Private Limited), Timsite Enterprises (Private) Limited and Wabata Resources (Private) Limited.
In December last year, government granted four other mining firms access to duty-free imports.
These companies are Scrap Crushers (Private) Limited, Goldmore Mining Investment (Private) Limited, Mvelamanje Enterprises (Private) Limited and Much Incorporated (Private) Limited.
Marange Resources and Murowa Diamonds are part of the several diamond-mining firms that are in the process of being compulsorily merged by government into one entity.
The nine mining firms’ import tax holiday runs from around October and December 2015 to around the same time in 2018.
The companies were granted the three-year customs duty suspensions in terms of the Customs and Excise (Suspension) Regulations.
Import duty suspensions for players in the mining sector are tightly controlled by the Secretary for Mines and Mining Development and ZIMRA, and they apply only to goods of a capital nature to be used in mining development operations, including sinking shafts, installation of equipment and machinery, and erection of facilities for treating and storing of minerals.
The nine mining firms join a favoured league of several others that have been granted the privilege in the past five years.
The government of Zimbabwe — whose economy has been declining for more than a decade — is trying to promote investment in the mining sector, which global investment analysts say has a real potential for growth.
In its forecast for the five years to 2020, United Kingdom-based investment research think-tank, BMI Research, identified mining sector as one of the country’s potential areas for real growth.
Zimbabwe is endowed with vast mineral reserves that continue to attract global capital even in the face of the other investment risks that the country poses.
In 2015, several junior resources firms announced they would be investing or expanding mining operations in Zimbabwe, especially in gold mining.
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