Government has procured all the equipment needed to roll out an electronic mining title management system (the cadastre system), with the process now expected to gather momentum.
A mining cadastre system is a computer-based and up-to-date land information system containing a record of interests in land, such as land owners’ rights, restrictions and responsibilities.
Once data on mining rights and title is fully computerised, the system is expected to enhance transparency and accountability in the administration of mining claims.
So far, the Government has operationalised the system in Manicaland Province.
The roll-out is now targeting Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces, before spreading to the rest of the mining regions.
Metal stakes or concrete beacons were previously used to demarcate claims and rights.
This, however, created disputes over mining title ownership, particularly by small-scale miners.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura told The Sunday Mail that the new system is likely to eliminate disputes in the sector.
“We are in the implementation stage to have the system rolled out to all the provinces. The servers and all other resources needed for the system are available. Currently, our technical people are implementing it province by province. So far, we have finished Manicaland and we are working on other provinces – Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West,” he said.
Transparency in the administration of mining claims is also envisaged to attract new investment into the sector.
Zimbabwe is endowed with vast minerals resources that include gold, platinum, diamond, chrome, lithium, tantalite, tantalum and coal, among others.
“It’s a bit difficult to give a timeframe as to when we will be done with rolling out of the cadastre system because there are some other unexpected challenges beyond our control, like power challenges.
“Otherwise the good thing is its work in progress and everything is now in place,” added Deputy Minister Kambamura.
“It (the cadastre system) reduces disputes and also the time taken to peg a mine because the old system was using old maps, and there were a lot of duplications on the old maps.
“So, now it is a matter of transferring data from the old maps to the computerised system … also this system cannot be easily manipulated because it eliminates human interference as much as possible.”
Early last year, the Government reduced the backlog for mining title applications that had ballooned to 20 000 by more than half.
Currently, mining accounts for more than 75 percent of foreign direct investment, 83 percent of exports, 19 percent of Government revenues, 2 percent of formal employment and 11 percent of individual incomes.