By Nyamayaro Chitsinde
ZIMBABWE should have its own official register of the quantity, value, and ownership of minerals, also known as the cadastre system, by year end to manage the country’s vast minerals reserves, the government has said.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development minister, Amon Murwira, said government has tasked his ministry’s Geospatial and Space Agency to work with the Mines and Mining Development ministry to develop the mining cadastre information managing system.
Murwira said both ministries have hit the ground running, and that the mining cadaster system will be launched before year end.
“Actually, we are at an advanced stage of implementing the mining cadastre information management system. We have done the conceptualisation, designed the database, done all the functional needs analysis, and user needs analysis. I’m sure that before year end we will have a fully functional mining cadastre information management system for this country,” he said.
Minister Murwira added that they will use local talent and resources to develop the mining cadastre information management system.
“We’re going to develop our own software because as a country we do not have money to pay for things we can do on our own. We’ll develop the system ourselves as we have the capacity to develop it.
The cadastre system, the minister said, is important to correctly quantify and locate the country’s minerals so that the country has a reliable database that’ll in turn be used to effectively manage the finite mineral resources.
“So, the mining cadastre system will just tell us what we have . . . so that we are able to manage our claims and mineral wealth better because minerals get finished, and the only way you can make a country develop is to use them prudently. Prudence comes from the knowledge of where the minerals are, their worth, and what they are,” he said.
According to Murwira, the cadastre system will eliminate the chaotic allocation of mining claims and mineral leakages that continue to bleed the country of billions of dollars in potential revenue.
“Information management has to be so good that we avoid leakages . . . It’s a priority for the government to have a cadastre mining information system because it reduces a lot of mismanagement and chaos when it comes to (mining) claims. It’ll increase . . . transparency because minerals get finished so we need to manage them wisely,” he said.
Zimbabwe is a mineral hotspot and is among the countries in Central and Southern Africa that possess most of the world’s mineral resources.