Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:05:25 +0000
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT is currently holding US$23 million in its Environmental Protection Fund meant to deal with liabilities where the closure process of a mining company has not been followed.
Ministry of Mines permanent secretary, Paul Chanda, said the fund was meant to rehabilitate areas where mining activities took place in case an investor abandoned the actions without maintenance.
Mr. Chanda explained that these funds were contributions from all operations in mining companies.
“Initially, after we nationalised the mines, all of them belonged to Government and we never bothered about these mines so they (investors) just abandon and go the good example is in Kabwe,
“Those dumps were just piled up and left so with the current practice where we have introduced a fund to which each and every mine contributes and this money is meant for closure activities in case somebody just flies away and abandoned,” he said.
Mr. Chanda said in an interview that the fund was a safety measure put in place to protect the environment once mining operations had stopped.
He said Government had consultants who were in charge of determining how much each mining company contributed towards the fund.
“This fund is meant for use in case a company gets liquidated, meaning that they have no money to rehabilitate the area they operate from or they just wilfully run away so we touch on their contribution to go and rehabilitate and work on that area so that there are no liabilities.
“We have consultants from the Ministry of Mines who go around to determine how much each mine house can contribute depending on their liabilities in terms of how much they are producing and piling up in terms of dumping,” Mr. Chanda said.