Thursday, June 20, 2024

Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development unveils state of the art EU-funded laboratory equipment

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Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda cuts the ribbon with head of cooperation at the EU Zambia Delegation Mr Gianluca Azzoni at the unveiling on the 5th of October
Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda cuts the ribbon with head of cooperation at the EU Zambia Delegation Mr Gianluca Azzoni at the unveiling on the 5th of October

The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (‘MMMD’) yesterday unveiled brand new modernised European Union-funded laboratory equipment to help monitor mineral production from Zambia.

The equipment purchase is just one component of the €4,69 million Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project (‘MPMSP’) which aims to help the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Developmentfulfil its mandate as mining authority, to monitor effectively mining activities and mineral production so as to increase domestic revenues. The project is fully funded by the European Union.

Speaking at the unveiling of the state of the art equipment at the Geological Survey Department laboratories, head of cooperation at the EU Zambia Delegation Mr Gianluca Azzoni said the unveiling of the laboratory equipment is a response to concrete needs and challenges Zambia has faced in monitoring mineral production.

Head of Cooperation at the EU Zambian Delegation Mr Gianluca Azzoni speaks at unveiling of mineral production monitoring equipment at GSD on the 5th of October
Head of Cooperation at the EU Zambian Delegation Mr Gianluca Azzoni speaks at unveiling of mineral production monitoring equipment at GSD on the 5th of October

“Despite the importance of GSD for the monitoring of mineral production and valuation of certificates for the issuing of export permits, the laboratory was in a very poor state, with almost all the equipment outdated and not operational at all. Now the MMMD will be able to test mineral samples and measure metal content, so as to reveal possible discrepancies between samples and actual exported minerals.”

“The EU has also supported the development of a digital reporting system for the mines which has smoothed the collection and reporting of mineral production data at the Department of Mines and Minerals Development,” he added.

Senior Technician Chemistry Mr Gift Mwaula explains the use of the UV Spectrophotometre at the official unveiling of mineral production monitoring equipment at GSD on the 5th of October.
Senior Technician Chemistry Mr Gift Mwaula explains the use of the UV Spectrophotometre at the official unveiling of mineral production monitoring equipment at GSD on the 5th of October.

Also speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary Mr Paul Chanda said the donation of the laboratory equipment will help the MMMD fulfill its mandate by not only providing accurate analyses of mineral samples, but also by facilitating transparency at every step of the mineral value chain.

He said the unveiling of the laboratory equipment is one of the many milestones the mineral production monitoring support project has reached since its inception in 2015.

“In September 2016, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development started issuing all mineral trading permits and import permits online, making a full transition from a paper-based system to electronic processing, covering the entire revenue base, and thereby also improving the auditing trail.”

Senior Gemologist Michelle Naambo demonstrates using the new mineral production monitoring equipment after the unveiling at Geological Survey Department on the 5th October
Senior Gemologist Michelle Naambo demonstrates using the new mineral production monitoring equipment after the unveiling at Geological Survey Department on the 5th October

He also said the project has designed a new reporting format, which is identified in the mining regulations as ‘Form 34’ to ensure that mining companies report all their products.

 

“Mining companies were obliged to use this format as of 1st January 2016. In this vein, the Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project experts have also collaborated with the experts from the Mineral Value Chain Monitoring Project (‘MVCMP’) under the Zambian Revenue Authority in order to ensure that mines companies report according to new mining regulations, and Form 34 in particular.”

Among the equipment donated were six hand-held XRF Analysers, which can analyse metals like cobalt, copper and gold in rock or powder form without sample preparation; a Muffle Furnace, which is used to heat samples and separate metals such as gold; and a UV Spectrophotometer, which can analyse a wide range of solutions containing metal ions and organic compounds.

Senior gemmologist Michelle Naambo and senior technician chemist Gift Mwaula were on hand to demonstrate to the delegates and members of the press how the new equipment works.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Really sad begging from the very people who are stealing from you with no shame ..you can afford to build useless Houses of Prayer, Riot Killing machines, 200m dollar solar hammer mills but you can not look for a mere €4,69 million to gain you billions in resource monitoring.
    I case of misplaced priorities.

    • Boasting of EU funded equipment and then you hear some people yapping that Zambia does not need the West. Madness indeed!

    • @1 JayJay,you are spot on! We know that Mining is the mainstay of our economy and yet we are so reckless to a point where monitoring the sector is left to whims of foreigners and we have to depend on charity for that!! When we thought may be with a full 5 Years Lungu was going to put in fresh blood into some of these vital Ministries he brings back a failed Minister to continue bluffing and failing to offer strategic direction. We are failing to monitor copper, cobalt and gemstoms production which has been with us for years, and yet we busy looking at producing oil and gas! How are we even going to cope with a new complex field with such negligence in leadership!?

  2. The problem at Geological Survey as with other departments at the Ministry of Mines is not lack of equipment. The unit has resigned itself not to do any meaningful work at all despite the presence
    of many skills there. Add to that govt. will not fund any exploration work and recapitalisations!

    The instruments cannot monitor production per se but rather as tools to confirm given information. Production figures have been left entirely to producers on their own to report and as far as I know
    there are no agreed protocols to counter check that! Months ago, the govt. fired a youthful PS in the name of Mtambo and replaced hime with a fossil in Chanda …

  3. The stealing of our mineral resources is going on with the full knowledge of the ministry. The equipment is welcome but will not stop the plunder it may be used to determine how much is being plundered

  4. Guys,
    Before Kansanshi built the smelter in Solwezi, they exported copper concentrate. That concentrate contained gold which was not detected by ZRA. First Quantum got a gold credit, 3 months later, when that gold was recovered from anode sludge in the copper refinery. ZRA needs help to back-calculate that gold and extract royalty for it from First Quantum. They are adept at such trickery. They do the same at Guelb Moghrein Mine in Mauritania. Ironically, the GM at Guelb Moghrein is a Zambian (the proverbial lapdog to his master!)

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