Government has with immediate effect cancelled the mining licence for Chinese run Collum Coal Mine.
Based in Sinazongwe area of Southern Province, Collum Mine has been the subject of fierce labour disputes between the Chinese managers and the local Zambian workers due to poor working conditions.
In 2010, eleven miners including one onlooker were shot and seriously wounded by Chinese manager at the Collum Coal Mine
Mines Minister Yamfwa Mukanga announced during a news briefing this morning that government has taken over the operations of the coal mine.
Mr. Mukanga said the mine has had a poor history of poor safety, health and environmental compliance which he attributed to the employment of unqualified personnel.
“Collum Coal Mine has failed to consistently provide employees with approved personal protective equipment (PPE’s),” he said.
Mr. Mukanga said the Ministry through the Mines Safety Department has been undertaking regular inspections to assist the mine remedy the persistent beaches adding that in some instances the entire mine has been closed before to allow the mine management to comply with directives but that there has no improvements.
“The Ministry gave a default notice to Collum Coal Mine on August 16 2012 and the company was given 60 days within which to remedy the anomalies cited in the default letter failure to which the licence would be cancelled. The 60 days expired on October 16 2012 without any response to the notice or remediation of all anomalies cited,” Mr. Mukanga stated.
The Mines Minister said Collum Mine failed to meet statutory obligations such as the declaration of mineral production and royalty to government.
Mr. Mukanga has since appealed to workers at the coal mine to remain calm assuring that there will be no disruption of normal operations.
Collum Coal Mining Industries Limited holds three small scale mining licences in Sinazongwe district of Southern province which were granted on 31 May 2002, July 5 2002 and May 7 2003 respectively.