GOVERNMENT has begun consultations on the draft mineral policy in a bid to source stakeholder input.
Report by Victoria Mtomba
The consultations have so far been held in Masvingo, Bulawayo, Kadoma and would be going to other areas in the country.
The mining sector has been grappling with issues of the indigenisation policy that requires firms in the sector to divest 51% of their shareholding to locals.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Prince Mupazviriho said the draft policy will look at issues that affect the sector and also how to attract investment to the sector.
The draft policy proposes to establish an internationally competitive stable and conducive business climate to attract and sustain foreign and local investment, while ensuring equitable distribution of benefits from mining activities to meet both current and future needs.
“The current free mining colonial mineral regime based on claims is inappropriate for using national mineral assets to underpin wider development and industrialisation, ” reads part of the draft policy.
“A developmental mineral policy will cater for the varying levels of resource confidence of potential mineral properties by only permitting exploration licences over areas that have no known mineral occurrences by auctioning all known properties and by reserving partially known deposits for further exploration by State agencies.”
In terms of the regulatory framework, government has resolved to overhaul the Mines and Mineral Act to introduce a new state-of-the-art minerals development law that will maximise the impact of mineral assets on growth and development.
The policy proposes to create an accessible web-based mining survey, information management system to enhance transparency in the award and monitoring of mineral rights.
The consultations come at a time when the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe will be holding its 74th annual general meeting in Nyanga this week.
Mupazviriho said the Mining Promotion Corporation was now operating under the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) as a way of mitigating resource allocation problems.
He said the corporation was established in the country to offer exploration services to the government and also to carry out geological surveys.
“If the corporation operates independently it would require a budget allocation from government, but if it works under ZMDC it can generate its own funds,”he said.
He added that competent personnel were being recruited for the corporation.
The Finance ministry in the 2013 National Budget said mineral exports rose by 230% over the 2009-2011 period making mining leading export sector. The ministry stated that the average share of mining to Gross Domestic Product grew to an average of 16,9% from 2009- 2011 overtaking agriculture.