- August 13, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has chided the Ministry of Mines for its continued reliance on old topographical maps when an investment of US$20 million could cover comprehensive exploration.
Mudenda says Zimbabwe should domesticate the African Mining Vision, a pan African blueprint which guidance on how economies can leverage mineral resource endowment and translate into sustainable economic development.
The AMV highlights
“AMV highlights that most African countries lack basic geological mapping and are poorly mapped.
“Ministry continues to rely on old topographical maps in the issuance of mining claims. Those maps are really antiquated, some of these maps are barely visible hence the need for the Min of Finance need to sponsor the completion of the mining cadastre system.
“This system would not cost more than 20 million USD, we can make savings and ensure the ministry if operational as far as the cadastre.
“It is imperative that we know the minerals that we have especially along the great dyke this is important in signing of agreement without which the country could be prejudiced,” he said.
Mudenda said Zimbabwe was almost duped into a predatory arrangement for the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) which could have prejudiced the country millions in revenue from its iron ore.
He said during the Government of National Unity (GNU) the country almost entered into this misdirected investment because there was not enough geological information on the minerals.
Mudenda said the country should make use of its institutions of higher learning to launch an accelerated exploitation of minerals, with a balance for protection of the environment and economic benet.
“ZISCO during the GNU we signed some agreements only to realize that we had sold tonnes and tonnes of our minerals to this company, there was a lot of fanfare in the launch of that misdirected investment arrangement because we had not done our due diligence.
“The Ministry of Mines should engage UZ to leverage on its ICT for accelerated exploration of our minerals.
“We must now comply with the best international practices to achieve a comparative and competitive advantage. We must strive for that balance between protection of the environment and economic benet,” said Mudenda.
Ministry of Mines says it has purchased hardware for the establishment of a cadastre system to digitalize the record of its mining claims in conjunction with the Ministry of Higher at a lower costs and cheaper running costs on a year to year basis but civic society is uncertain.
Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) director Mutuso Dhliwayo expressed skepticism of these government plans saying only tangible action on the ground can be assessed rather than mere pronouncements.
He said the country has already been mining its minerals without proper records of mining titles which can be easily done through the cadastre system to ensure that we derive full value from our mineral endowment.
“We are already mining already but we have not done comprehensive exploration but it’s critical in terms of access of information which will help us in terms of negotiation of these mining contracts and deals but we are not doing that.
“We also have the cadastre system which is critical any country that has succeeded in terms of getting benefits from its exploration of its minerals has a cadastre system and we don’t have that.
“We need action to follow through with action rather than mere pronouncements,” said Dhliwayo.