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Thursday, 1 November 2012

On-line mining licenses?

Government is planning to introduce an online cadastre system for mining licenses in the first half of next year, according to the company developing the software. Cape Town-based Spatial Dimensions will develop an Internet-based system to improve transparency in applying for, awarding and paying for mineral rights. Apparently, the idea is to do all transactions online with no cash changing hands. The system will be in operation by late in the first half of 2013.

Tanzania recently launched an online mining cadastre portal, also using the Spatial Dimension technology. Mozambique also has one in an effect to bring transparency and root out corruption. If indeed it is true, this is a step forward. It would be great if the maps of all mining licences in the provinces could also be made available, so that people can check which mining company is operating or exploring where in there village! Such a move does not solve everything, especially land squabbles, but it certainly helps know who is doing what.

1 comment:

  1. As prospecting licenses and large scale mining licenses require to be accompanied by environmental impact assessments (EMP), and in most cases, full environmental impact statements, approved by the Mining Advisory Committee and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). I don't see how this will work, unless the EMP/EIS are posted on the Internet beforehand as part of the transparent process. Mining licenses are at present being handed out without complying with the statutory requirements of the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008. Licenses have also been issued for mining in National Parks without the necessary EMPs. The whole process is corrupt and highly dysfunctional. Take the building of the road from Leopards Hill to Chirundu and then on to Feira, with the Chongwe bridge under construction - this, unbelievably, under the personal control of Sata. The Mines and ZEMA websites carry no reports on these or on the Lower Zambezi National Park proposed mining. Minister Simuusa has told the Australian miners that they should supply more information for their EIS refused by ZEMA. Why? A project land stripping and polluting in excess of 200 km2 of the park and polluting the downstream Zambezi River does not need an EIS of any contrived dimension. Even a plunderer will admit to what will happen.


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