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PF issued mining licenses recklessly – minister

PF issued mining licenses recklessly – minister
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
THE previous government issued mining licenses recklessly but that will not happen under the new dawn, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe told Parliament yesterday.


Mr Kabuswe claimed that in as much as the PF government was giving out mining licenses anyhow, locals were sidelined.
He said the new dawn government had come to change things, saying that things would now be done orderly.
The minister announced that government had issued 1, 254 mining rights countrywide from 2014 to 2019 in national parks.
Mr Kabuswe also said there had been litigation arising from the issuance of licences during the same period.
He told Parliament yesterday 1, 254 mining and exploration licences had been issued in national parks, game management areas, and national forests.
He was responding to Mufumbwe Member of Parliament, Eliot Kamondo, during the questions for oral answer who wanted to know whether Government had issued any prospecting or exploration licences from 2014 t0 2019 in national parks, game management areas, national forests and birds sanctuaries.
Mr Kamondo also asked the minister whether there had been any litigation arising from the issuance of licenses, and if so, how many cases were there as of July 2020.
“What measures the Government is taking to avoid such legal suits?” Mr Kamondo concluded his question.
In response, Mr Kabuswe said the ministry had issued 1, 254 mining rights countrywide from 2014 to 2019.
He explained that for the national parks, 53 mining rights were issued out of which five were mining licences, while 48 were exploration licences.
For the game management areas, he said, 501 mining rights were issued out of which 80 were mining licences while 421 were exploration licences.
He added that in national forests, 698 mining rights were issued out of which 121 were mining and 577 exploration licences.
The minister however indicated that no prospecting or exploration licenses were issued in birds’ sanctuaries during the period under review.
Meanwhile, Mr Kabuswe said only one litigation arising from the issuance of licences was recorded as of July 2020.
He explained that to avoid such legal suits, Government had put measures in place such as the provision of a set of terms and conditions governing the use of mining licences to prospecting mining companies.


“At the point of issuance of mining rights, a set of terms and conditions governing the use of the licences are spelt out in writing to the licence holders. The conditions include the requirement to seek written consent from legal occupiers or authorities responsible for the areas in question before entry, and this was obtained,” he explained.


Mr Kabuswe also said that before issuing a mining license, Government seeks an approval of projects from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) after conducting a full environmental impact assessment.
He announced that a decision letter by ZEMA was given in this regard during the period under review.

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