- Mr Mulenga said Government was not sitting idle but ensuring that the funds which were uncollected from the companies which evaded paying mineral rights were recovered.
By SILUMESI MALUMO and PETER SICHALI
WE have engaged the Attorney General to recover over K21 million which were lost due to uncollected mineral rights from mining companies, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga has said.
Mr Mulenga said Government was not sitting idle but ensuring that the funds which were uncollected from the companies which evaded paying mineral rights were recovered.
The latest Auditor General’s report revealed that the ministry failed to collect area charges in amounts totaling to K21, 199, 692 from 1, 477 mining rights holders as of August 31, 2020.
Section 77 (1) and (2) of the Mines and Minerals Development Act number. 11 of 2015, provides that a holder of a mining right or mineral processing licence should pay to the Republic an annual area charge of such amount as may be prescribed, or as may be calculated in the manner prescribed by the minister.
The annual area charge referred to in subsection (1) should be payable on the grant of the mining or mineral processing licence, and thereafter annually on the anniversary thereof until the termination of the mining right or mineral processing licence.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Mulenga said the Attorney General was on course in ensuring that the funds were recovered.
“Remember we have been running some adverts in the media on the licences that have defaulted to pay the mineral rights and they were revoked. So what we have done is that even if the licences have been revoked the holder still owes the government and need to pay the funds.
So we engaged the Attorney General to pursue this matter. He is actively pursuing it so we will manage to collect the funds,” Mr Mulenga said.