Ministry of Mines to conduct minerals survey

Ministry of Mines to conduct minerals survey
Published: 31 January 2012 (1010 Views)
THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has indicated that it will carry out an aeromagnetic minerals survey throughout the country using its 25 percent revenue retention from fiscus obtained after proceeds from minerals are submitted to treasury.

Late last year Government suspended an aeromagnetic minerals survey tender after the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development issued an ultimatum to the Government Tender Board alleging that the invitation was erroneously crafted to sideline it from fully participating in the process in favour of the Ministry of Finance.

"We have decided to carry out the survey through the 25 percent revenue we get through the fiscus which is the proceed we get from marketing our diamonds and other minerals. This is an agreement we reached about three weeks ago and it means we will do the survey independent of any sponsor.

"We are presently pursuing Government to increase the retention to 35 percent so that we can be able to assist small-scale miners whom we are currently awarding US$ 300 000 quarterly through the Mining Fund.

The whole amount translates to US$ 1, 2 million and this is very little and affects their productiveness and that's why they are resorting to primitive ways of mining," Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire said.

He said there was need to fund the Zimbabwe Mineral Exploration Corporation, a private parastatal which was put in place by Government last year to oversee the exploration of all the country's minerals.

"About 40 percent of the country's minerals have not yet been explored, we are discovering minerals through illegal mining activities in various parts of the country and details of the country's mineral worthiness is very sketchy. Big mining companies only do exploration work when they intend to expand their mining activities. If we do exploration on our own as Government we will be able to market all the minerals we have in the land to potential investors. As it is at the moment our mineral database is sort of scattered," he said.

An aeromagnetic survey is a geological survey carried out using a magnetometer aboard or towed behind an aircraft. The principle is similar to a magnetic survey carried out with a hand-held magnetometer, but allows much larger areas of the earth's surface to be covered quickly for regional reconnaissance.


- zimpapers

Tags: Mines, Survey, Minerals,
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