South African mineral rights technology taking world by storm

28th May 2013 By: Martin Creamer - Creamer Media Editor

JOHANNESBURG ( – A locally developed mineral rights system, now active on all continents, is taking the minerals-management world by storm.

The ten-year-old FlexiCadastre, developed by Spatial Dimension of Cape Town, is currently being applied in 70 global mining jurisdictions by more than 1 200 government and corporate entities (see also attached video).

The South Africa-developed technology currently manages eight-million square kilometres of land in countries including Zambia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and even Greenland.

The corporate client list, which reads like a mining-major’s who’s who, includes Vale, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Barrick Gold and AngloGold Ashanti.

However, a notable exception is South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources, which has opted instead to use its own self-tailored, but much-criticised Samrad system.

On the other hand, local mining corporates have clamoured for the risk-minimising solution, which provides Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act compliance.

Spatial Dimension CEO Bill Feast told Mining Weekly Online that the implementation of the system in countries with good mining codes had led to sharp rises in market interest and significant increases in revenue for governments.

“It facilitates maximum revenue collection from the minerals sector and enhances investor confidence in the country,” Feast said.

At a presentation on Tuesday, as prospective clients looked on, big screens showed how a mineral prospecting licence in Zambia was applied for and then granted (as is shown on the attached video link).

In Canada’s British Columbia, technology was now so advanced that all interaction with the Minerals Ministry had to be online.

Government departments typically engaged Spatial Dimension to implement mining cadastre systems to facilitate all aspects of the application, evaluation and granting of mineral rights, as well as for compliance monitoring.

There was a growing appreciation that the transparent and efficient management of mineral rights was a critical factor in the growth and stability of mining-based national economies.

Corporates typically looked to the company to implement management solutions that met all obligations relating to their mineral rights holdings and related agreements.