President Levy Mwanawasa has instructed the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Dr Kalombo Mwansa to terminate mining rights of investors who were not using their Licences..
President Mwanawasa said nearly the whole country was under large scale prospecting
licences that have either been idle for many years or covering very large tracks of
The President said Government was currentlyÂ deliberatelyÂ promoting ownership of
large scale mines by Zambians on their own or in partnership with foreign investors
to boost wealth creation and citizen’s empowerment.
He said the action to terminate idle prospecting licences would free areas for
allocation to new investors .
The President said government was in a hurry to develop the country, hence he would
not accept a situation where some people hold on to mineral areas without
undertaking the expected economic actitivities.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by Vice President, Rupiah Banda, during
the official opening of the 50th Copperbelt Mining and Agriculture Show.
He added that he was instructing the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development to
ensure that holders of prospecting Licincences utilise them within the time space
provided by Law to avoid situations whereby licences were withdrawn through
”I m therefore instructing the minister of Mines and Mineral Development to
strictly implement the policy of “use it or lose it” said Mr Mwanawasa.
And speaking earlier at the same function Show Society Chairman Bill Orsborne called
on the government to come up with a programme that would promote a gradual increase
in Mineral Royalties over a period of five yearsÂ to allow the mining companies get
a return from their investment in infrastructure.
Mr Osborne said the increase in Mineral Royalty from 0.06 per ccentÂ to O.3 per cent
would have serious unwanted effects on the mining sector.
He said this would also make the investors in the mining sector to lose confidence
in the government hence the need to trend carefully.
He said there was need for the government to dialogue with affected stakeholders in
the mining sector instead of making premature pronouncements which had a potential
to sway away investors.
And Mr Osborne has called on the Government to address the looming power shortage in the energy sector.
He said the pending energyÂ shortage in Southern Africa had come at a time when the
country was in need of more electricity following development in the agriculture and
He added that if the situation was not tackled properly it could have negative
effectives on the growth of the economy.
Mr Osborne observedÂ that if there was no enough energy in the country, the
strengthening Zambian economy would be weak hence lose out of exports.
The show was also graced by First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda.