Mines and minerals play a pivotal role in the shaping of a nation's economy. In most African countries, their mineral wealth is the largest contributor to the exchequer and are directly responsible for the GDP of that nation. It is key to nation building and ensuring that money is available for its citizens. However, in many countries, rampant corruption has led to massive losses in public revenue, worth millions of dollar every year.
In 2017, Global Witness, a London-based campaign group, released a report stating that the Democratic Republic of Congo was losing the mining revenues because of corruption and mismanagement. Likewise, in Uganda, graft was stifling investment in the sector and eroding benefits and opportunities for Ugandans, Global Witness said. Numerous other countries share similar tales.
This has a domino effect, less money available to the government means less money for education and healthcare. Which in turn keeps these mineral rich countries poor.
The solution is to stop the problem at the start of the lifecycle from tainting the subsequent process. This can be achieved by using IT to plug the gaps and bring in transparency and order. There is a need of a system that is custom built for the mining industry. It needs to be robust, secure and capable of operating at zero downtime to monitor the various operational as well as commercial implications of the mining industry at the ground.
The Mines & Minerals Management System has been built from the regulators perspective. It enables agencies to ensure there is transparency in the process from the point of bidding, automates and streamlines the various clearances, and tracks the production.
The system has a larger purpose of minimizing financial losses & process costs, it automatically calculates the royalties due, automates and tracks mineral movement through GPS , route optimises the entire dispatch and transport process, and closes the loop with verification at the receiver’s end.
To ensure that there is no lacuna or loophole in the system, the Mines & Minerals Management System can also be integrated with multiple systems that can act as feeders or verifiers of data. These can be with various other government departments like taxation, environment, or forest, with local transport systems like ports and railways and with local Transport Offices to verify antecedents of vehicles used for the transportation.
The platform is modular in nature and depending on the need of the organisation, can be customised to suit their requirement. The use of this system has proven its merit in ensuring transparency and plugging leakages. The other benefits include improvement in overall efficiency in the system, ability to connect all stakeholders on a single platform, ability to access data from multiple locations as well as on mobile, and integration of various technology platforms like RFID and GPS and common payment gateways.
Through CSM’s Mines & Minerals Management platform, various government bodies have seen significant cost saving, time savings and improvement in royalty fees collection. To know more, read the case study of how one of India’s & the worlds largest producer of coal, Odisha, moved to a game-changing IT-enabled system and improved revenues.
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