Zimbabwe is a country well known for its vast mineral resources numbering over 60. The country has faced numerous challenges in harnessing the potential held within its mining sector. With widespread reports of corruption, illegal mining activities, and a lack of transparency, it is clear that the motherland urgently needs a robust mining cadastre system to manage and regulate its valuable mineral wealth.
A mining cadastre is a digital platform that records and manages mining licenses, concessions, and other legal instruments related to mining operations. It provides a transparent and accessible database for all stakeholders, such as government officials, investors, and communities, to track and monitor mining activities in the country.
Currently, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is Compiling data for the Cadastre system however progress has been slow, and it is crucial for the government to prioritize this initiative and allocate adequate resources to its timely development and implementation.
The Ministry of Mines is currently undergoing a data capture and cleaning process and therefore all data is provisional and subject to verification. The Ministry will, at a later date, declare a date when all data will be considered verified.
According to the Portal if one wishes to Submit a Form and currently hold licences the following has to be done:-
- Applications for existing licences and applications to register for access to the Mining Cadastre Portal must be presented in person by the individual who wishes to use the portal. The application must consist of:
- A completed registration form MCP01
- Proof of identity
- If an employee or agent, an original Letter of Authority is signed by a company director authorising the individual to act on behalf of the company, syndicate or person.
- Once the Ministry of Mining has processed the application, a user profile will be created in the Mining Cadastre Portal and an email sent to the user’s registered email address with a link to set a password for the first time.
- The application must be accompanied by the following documents, in digital form, which will be uploaded on the self-registration page:
- Proof of identity
- If an employee or agent, a Letter of Authority signed by a company director authorising the individual to act on behalf of the company, syndicate or person.
- A user profile will be automatically created in the Mining Cadastre Portal and an email sent to the user’s registered email address with a link to set a password for the first time.
- The Ministry of Mining will then verify the submitted documents and application, and if no problems are detected, an email will be sent to the applicant confirming their successful registration.
It is commendable that Zimbabwe is moving towards the betterment of the Mining Industry however the pace of doing so simply needs to be improved.
Here are the advantages that the Mining Cadastre System will bring to the Mining industry of Zimbabwe.
Elimination of corruption
One of the most significant advantages of a mining cadastre is the elimination of corruption and the promotion of good governance. By digitizing the process, it becomes more challenging for corrupt officials to manipulate licenses and engage in illicit activities. Many in the ASM sector claim to have lost their mines when dodgy characters show up and produce backdated mining titles after a mine produces yields. All transactions and approvals are recorded, allowing for a clear trail of accountability and reducing opportunities for widespread corruption.
Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI)
Transparency is crucial in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the mining sector. International investors often prioritize countries with strong legal frameworks and reliable systems in place. A robust mining cadastre would give investors the confidence to invest in Zimbabwe, knowing that their rights and licenses are properly registered and protected.
Reducing bureaucratic hurdles
An iron-clad mining cadastre can help streamline administrative processes and reduce bureaucratic hurdles. Currently, obtaining mining licenses and conducting due diligence in Zimbabwe are time-consuming and cumbersome. A digital platform would simplify procedures, reducing red tape and enhancing efficiency. It would also facilitate communication and collaboration among different government agencies involved in the mining sector, enabling effective coordination and decision-making. Currently, it is taking an average of 5 years to get a Mining title in the highly mineralised zone like the Midlands, Mashonalandwest, Mashonald Central and all of Matabeleland.
Another critical aspect of a mining cadastre system is the inclusion of local communities. Mining operations impact nearby communities and their livelihoods. Through the mining cadastre, communities can access information regarding mining activities in their areas, ensuring that they have a say and are consulted in decision-making processes. This fosters dialogue, minimizes conflicts, and promotes sustainable development in mining-affected regions.
The mining cadastre would enhance data collection and analysis, providing valuable insights for evidence-based policy-making. Accurate and up-to-date information on mining licenses, production volumes, revenues, and environmental impacts can empower lawmakers, regulators, and researchers to make informed decisions to maximize the benefits of mining while minimizing its negative impacts.
Zimbabwe has taken some steps towards implementing a mining cadastre system. In 2017, the government announced plans to establish a digital mining cadastre to address the sector’s challenges. However, progress has been slow, and it is crucial for the government to prioritize this initiative and allocate adequate resources to its development and implementation.
It is high time for Zimbabwe to prioritize the establishment of a mining cadastre and pave the way for a responsible and prosperous mining industry.