Zimbabwe Mining Fee Increase May Be Illegal, Committee Says

Zimbabwe’s decision to increase fees for mining licenses and applications by as much as 5,000 percent may have been unconstitutional, a parliament committee said in a report.

“There was no regard to whether the application to mine would succeed or not,” the Legal Parliamentary Committee said in a report obtained by Bloomberg News today. The fees “impose a hefty financial burden on citizens and non-citizens alike who opt to invest in the mining sector.”

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu raised mining fees and license costs in a decree in February, requiring diamond miners to pay as much as $5 million for a mining application. The legal committee reviews laws and decrees to determine their compliance with the constitution. Mpofu didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment today.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), Zimbabwe Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Ltd. (IMP) and Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) are among Zimbabwe’s biggest miners.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at in Harare at blatham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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