MINERS across the board are eagerly waiting for the Government’s plan to introduce the mining sector research and adoption of a computer-based cadastre system that is meant to expedite the process of mining administration and mineral accountability, as indicated in the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1).
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando had, as of late last year, announced that the Government will make a commitment to institute the digital system by 2021. The minister assured the nation that by the start of this year, processes to upgrade the system would have commenced.
An electronic mining cadastre is seen as the most efficient mode that will unlock mineral value and curb corruption in the allocation of mining claims. In the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1) economic blueprint, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube underscored the fact that the mining cadastre will be the anchor in unlocking the potential of the country’s mineral resources and beneficiation.
“NDS-1 aims to enhance mineral beneficiation and value addition through creation of value chains to anchor the national industrialisation policy,” said Minister Ncube in the economic blueprint.
The NDS-1 specifies that mineral beneficiation will be supported by mining research and adoption of information, communication technologies (ICTs), with emphasis of the computerised mining cadastre. Local miners view the computer based system as one that will expedite the dissemination of information pertaining to mineral rights, records, mines geographical location, ownership, time and validity of mineral rights in the country.
The shift to the new system is underway, as Minister Chitando revealed last week on Wednesday in an interview with Sunday News.
“We have already started the work toward migrating from the manual cadastre to the computerized system. This is part of the Government’s drive to add value and beneficiation in the mining sector and to underpin the sector’s vision to be a US$12 billion economy by 2023,” said Minister Chitando.
Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (Zela) has put it on record that delays in upgrading the cadastre system was detrimental to miners. Zela cites lack of transparency in the industry with regards to multiple mining claim ownership.
Consequently, a successful shift to the modern cadastre system was seen as a conduit for the mining industry to reach and surpass its targeted 7,7 percent growth by end of 2021. In the year 2020, mining was placed on a projected contraction of 4,1 percent.