MINES minister Walter Chidhakwa said he will next month take the revised Mines and Minerals Act to Cabinet as government moves towards drawing maximum benefit from mineral resources.
Chidhakwa told NewsDay yesterday that the new policy document would replace the archaic mineral policy introduced during the Rhodesian era.
“In the next week or two we will take the principles of the Mines and Minerals Act to Cabinet,” Chidhakwa said.
Last year, the government concluded a stakeholders’ consultation exercise aimed at maximising the impact of mineral assets on growth and development of the country. 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.
Chidhakwa said the ministry was still working on the idea of setting up a diamond exchange centre where cutting, cleaning and polishing of diamonds would be carried out under one roof.
He also said the ministry was planning to establish a platinum refinery to ensure the country exports finished products.
The mining sector has been contributing significantly to the growth of the economy since 2009 buoyed by increases in mineral prices, but weighed down by lack of processing centres for maximum benefit.
Mining has huge prospects for growth and is expected to grow by 11,4% on the back of investments and strong performance in gold diamonds, nickel and coal.