The Zimbabwean government is soon to announce higher fees for firms mining platinum, diamonds and other resources in a bid to boost revenues from the sector.
Registration fees for platinum claims are to rise from US$300 to $2.5 million. Registration fees for coal, natural gas and mineral oils move to $100,000 from $5,000 now.
The official announcement of the fees awaits Finance Ministry approval. Officials say the new fees will discourage speculation and bolster contributions to the Treasury.
Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said the move will ensure that the mining sector makes a more significant contribution to the country's economic recovery. But mining analysts said increasing fees will have a negative impact on the sector.
Mining correspondent Christy Filen of Johannesburg-based Moneyweb said such fees will discourage new investment in mining, adding mining firms are already struggling to fund exploration expenses once a claim is made. Filen said paying upwards of 2 million to establish a claim without an immediate return will drive away investors.
Economist John Robertson said potential miners will be discouraged by the high initial cost of investigating Zimbabwean mining opportunities.