Zimbabwe: Shortage of Cartographers Triggers Mining Title Registration Backlog, Ownership Wrangles

THE lack of a full complement of cartographers at Mashonaland…

THE lack of a full complement of cartographers at Mashonaland West’s Ministry of Mines and Mining Development office is hindering the pace of mine registration, which has at times triggered ownership disputes.

The shortage of cartographers, whose work involves drawing or producing maps, has caused a huge backlog of applications for registration of mining titles.

A cartographer is the entry point in the mining verification and registration process with their major role being to produce cartography diagrams.

The Mashonaland West Mines ministry office is currently operating with a single cartographer, a development that has delayed the formalisation of artisanal and small-scale miners’ operations.

Speaking during the ministry’s consultation programme on Mineral Development Policy, Value Addition and Beneficiation, and Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) strategies this week, stakeholders lamented the cumbersome process under which miners go through before being awarded licences.

Pikirayi Chinoramba-Chimurenga of Norton highlighted the bureaucratic bottlenecks at the mines office, amid consensus from participants to decentralise operations to districts in the true spirit of the government’s devolution agenda.

Stakeholders decried the slow pace at which applications for mine title registration are processed, which the authorities defended pointing to a shortage of cartographers who are integral in the process, in addition to a lack of field vehicles and fuel.