The programme includes a set of objectives and a selected number of signature activities based on evidence based research, advocacy, community monitoring, litigation and rights training. The following are the key objectives of our work on extractives and mining:
• Improving transparency and accountability in the mining sector with a focus on contract negotiation, revenue generation and revenue distribution.
• Advocating for tax justice and addressing tax justice and addressing illicit financial flows.
• Promoting public access to extractives sector information
• Monitoring mining companies’ compliance with national laws.
• Influencing legal and policy reforms for improved mineral resources governance .
Statistically, the country is said to have more than 60 known minerals, 40 of which are being under exploited.
Such big numbers have always generated public euphoric beliefs of economic revival and development. However, surprisingly, the big numbers and statistics are not supported by current and reliable geological data and reports. Comprehensive exploration and geological surveys were last done in the 1980s. The country does not even have a mining cadastre system resulting in over-pegging of mining claims. Incredibly, there is no “single point of truth” in government with respect to statistics on geological data, mineral production, trade and exports and licenced sites and other relevant information as is the case with other mining countries like Australia. The result is a situation where glaring variations and discrepancies exist between statistics held by different government departments. Diamond production, export and revenue statistics are an example of the level of inconsistencies.
Therefore, in the coming five years, we will work on promoting public access to relevant and accurate mining information. The country has a combination of large scale, small scale and informal mining entities. The number of unlicenced artisanal miners is considerably high and increasing particularly in the gold sector. High licencing fees, long distances to licencing offices, onerous and costly environmental requirements affect artisanal miners. Low gold prices offered by government entities have led to a flourishing black market and smuggling of gold. Further, many artisanal miners have no knowledge of mining, environmental, safety and health laws. Currently, government is proposing legalizing artisanal mining but so far no concrete legal steps have been taken. While some domestic and multinational companies are still operational, most are operating below normal capacity utilisation levels. The mix also includes often shady and less known Chinese entities that do not respect labour, environmental and human rights standards. Further, the forbidding political situation in the country has been blamed for discouraging foreign investments due to fear of security of tenure and unpredictable legal and political developments. Simply put, government is failing to make the country attractive to genuine investors, except a few opportunists taking advantage of a desperate government. Our approach will be to encourage responsible and sustainable investments in the coming five years to promote economic development and fight poverty.
The state is also an active player in mining and marketing of minerals through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ). However, management of state entities has been weak, unaccountable and not significantly beneficial to the country. Therefore, in the coming five years our programmes will be tailored to help promote transparency and accountability by state owned and private mining companies in negotiation of contracts and revenue generation and distribution.