The conversation on sustainable development impact of mining would not be complete without discussing environmental rehabilitation and mine closure plans and costs. More importantly, Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) of communities to be affected by mining operations must not be overlooked.
Elections are drawing near, focus on electoral reforms seems to be the only game in town. The $4.2 billion platinum deal and related deals in the lithium sector is a reminder that mineral resources governance reforms should not be dislodged from the country’s development agenda. An Act of Parliament that enables public transparency in negotiation and performance monitoring must be urgently put in place as required by the Constitution, Section 315 (2) (c).
If government is serious about anchoring socio-economic development on mining, ascertaining the quality and quantities of our mineral resources is a must. This would enable competitive bidding necessary to optimise mining linkages across the value chain. Parliament and civil society must hold the Minister of Mines to account on his promise to disclose the clauses of the $4.2 billion mining agreement in the coming weeks.
However, the question that urgently needs answers is: who are the local partners for Karo Resources, the ones who will have 51 percent equity stake in this mining venture? Beneficial ownership is important to curb corruption by unmasking the natural persons who are benefiting from this deal.
By Mukasiri Sibanda for The Source