Source: December deadline for mines | The Financial Gazette October 12, 2017
GOVERNMENT last week set December 1, 2017 as the deadline for mining firms to submit their title details ahead of migration to a new computerised title management system.
In a letter to mining houses seen by The Financial Gazette, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development said those that fail to submit by deadline “will be positioned according to the map without conditions”.
Government, which says the mining industry is among only four sectors expected to help the country ride out of the current slump, has been planning to start a computerised register for over four years.
The system is said to be more secure than the current one, which is manual and has resulted in boundary and ownership disputes.
Officials said once the cadastre system is rolled out, it would help minimise disputes in title ownership currently emanating from lack of surveyed information.
The cadastre system will record the geographical location, ownership and time validity of mining rights, as well as showing compliance with the payment of fees and other requirements for valid concessions.
Officials said a clause on the cadastre system will be contained in the amended Mines and Minerals Act, which is still being worked on.
They said the computerised system would be the reference point for applicants and licence holders.
It is expected to contain applications, requests and communication regarding mining documents and other licences.
In a statement dated October 5, 2017, the ministry said: “You are advised to submit GPS (global positioning system) coordinates to the mines office survey section. This will assist us to prepare for the computerisation of mining titles (cadastre system which will be adopted by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development for mining title management). The deadline for all submissions is 01 December 2017, failure to submit by the date means that you will be positioned according to the map without conditions”.
The new system will bring Zimbabwe’s mining registry in line with other countries in terms of efficient records management as well as information for investors, while prospectors, in line with the new Mines Act.
Presently, mining licences are marked on the ground by metal stakes and concrete beacons, which is time consuming and demand a high level of skill to produce accurate surveys.
In some cases errors in the location of points on mining title maps and on the ground are considerable.
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, according to mining industry experts.
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 6,25 hectares would constitute a claim.