GOVERNMENT will soon establish a new, secure and computerised register of mining rights and titles to assist in administering mining activities in the country, a senior government official said.
"The whole system is going to be changed mainly to minimise the disputes that we currently have as they mainly emanate from the lack of surveyed information," government chief mining engineer Robert Kaisi told the Chamber of Mines Association of Mine Managers Zimbabwe conference held in Kariba recently.
The register or cadastre shall record the geographical location, ownership and time validity of mining rights and show compliance with the payment of fees and other requirements required to keep a concession valid.
Kaisi said a clause on the cadastre will be contained in the amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act to be tabled during the current session of parliament.
He said the mining register would be the focal point for all applicants and licence holders. All applications, requests and communications regarding a mining licence and documents would be obtained directly from it.
In order to improve service delivery, it is envisaged procedures will be streamlined, thereby reducing processing time for issuance of mining title and other services. This will bring Zimbabwe in line with other countries in the region and elsewhere in terms of efficiencies in services provided to investors and the general mining public.
Kaisi said under the new Act, prospectors would no longer be allowed to do any pegging. Currently, mining licences are marked on the ground by metal stakes, concrete beacons or similar fixed points that were surveyed using conventional methods such as a theodolite or older methods involving tape and chains.
Analysts say these methods are time-consuming and demand a high level of skill to produce accurate surveys. In some cases the error in the locations of the points on the map and on the ground is considerable, up to a kilometre in some instances. This is mainly because of the inability to tie in the detailed survey to an accurately located and known base point on the map. Inaccuracies in the mapping can lead to frequent boundary disputes, particularly where small scale workings take place.
In line with the new cadastre system, a mining title will be granted in the form of a mining lease, where the title extends over four or more contiguous blocks.With the new system, an area covering 250m x 250m will constitute a claim, Kaisi said, adding that currently there were no limits to the size of a claim.
The amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act are also meant to simplify it by removing all provisions of a regulatory nature.