The Gold Ridge Mining Limited. Photo credit: SIBC.

                                            The Gold Ridge Mining Limited. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Rural Electrification today released the draft National Minerals Policy for public consultation.

The policy sets out the Government’s vision for the mining sector.

It aims to balance investor confidence with respect for landowner and community rights.

A government statement says, under the policy, mining discussions must happen in the impacted community and community bodies such as chiefs, churches, and other groups are encouraged to oversee these negotiations to make sure that everyone is included and able to participate in discussions.

It says chiefs will also be responsible for identifying landowners under the new policy.

Landowners claiming rights to mining revenue will need to have their claim verified by their Council of Chiefs before receiving any royalty or compensation from the mine.

Landowners, communities, and provincial governments will also need to agree on a development plan that explains how they will spend their share of the mining revenue.

The money will be deposited in an account managed by the community or landowning group – not an individual bank account.

An Oversight Committee will be responsible for making sure the money goes where it is rightly due.

Meanwhile, companies will benefit from a more attractive prospecting and mining environment that allows for increased tenement areas and other tools to make community and landowner negotiations easier and more transparent.

Both companies and the government will be required to provide detailed reports on where they receive money from, and how this money is spent, encouraging greater transparency in the mining sector.

There is also an increased role for Provincial Governments, especially in the area of artisanal mining.

The policy was developed by an Inter-Ministry Taskforce comprising representatives from the different sectors responsible for regulating the mining sector, including the Ministry of
Finance and Treasury, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Disaster Management, and the Prime Minister’s Office.

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