In March 2013, The Ministry of Mines and Minerals produced a draft minerals policy which seeks to provide a framework for a minerals regime for the sustainable management of the country’s mineral resources and to guide interventions by government institutions as well as other stakeholders.
The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) commissioned a review of the draft Minerals Policy with a view of understanding to what extent it will help Zimbabwe unlock economic development from its vast mineral resources.
The review highlights some of the problems that are stifling the potential of Zimbabwe's mineral resource base to contribute to economic development. Chief among these problems is an archaic and colonial piece of legislation in the form of the Mines and Minerals Act, which is regarded as the weakest link.
The Act which was enacted in 1961 is oriented towards mineral resources exploitation with little or no regard to sustainable development. While mining itself can never be sustainable, it can contribute to sustainable development through the investment of generated revenue in human and physical capital. Other problems include lack of transparency and accountability, lack of access to information and lack of value addition and beneficiation.