MINES Minister Richard Musukwa has warned that idle licenses that were issued to either small or large-scale miners will be revoked.
And Musukwa says Government will implement a framework to facilitate market linkages to assist small-scale miners and prevent them from being continuously exploited.
Speaking during a four-day workshop on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) in Zambia, Musukwa warned that licenses that Government had issued to both small and large-scale miners risked being revoked if they remained idle.
“Idle licenses, licenses that are being held for speculation, will be revoked so as to promote serious and credible Zambians, non-Zambians, investors who would like to invest in our country,” Musukwa warned when he officially opened the workshop at Southern Sun Hotel in Lusaka on March 19.
He explained that the issuance of mining licenses without adhering to the stipulated obligations was disadvantaging Zambia.
“When we give licenses, we also give obligations, and these obligations must be followed to the letter. In short, what I would like to state is that idle licenses, licenses that are being held for speculation, whether they are small-scale or large-scale, we will not allow that scenario because we are actually disadvantaging the country into getting the benefit from these resources,” Musukwa (in picture) observed.
He disclosed that nearly 2,000 licenses are currently idle in the country, describing the scenario as “sad.”
“What is sad is that we have issued in excess of over 2,000 small-scale licenses. On these 2,000 small-scale licenses, I can assure you that we have less than 20 licenses operating,” he revealed.
“We cannot develop our country at that score.”
And Musukwa added that Government will implement a framework to facilitate market linkages to assist small-scale miners and prevent them from being continuously exploited.
The four-day workshop, organized through PanAfGeo, the EU, among others, was held to present and describe the methods, tools, procedures and requirements for ASM operation in Zambia.
It also coincided with the release of a small-scale mining training manual dubbed: “Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Handbook for Zambia” to raise awareness of best practices in the sub-sector.
Pictures: Mines Minister, Richard Musukwa, officially opens the PanAfGeo Workshop on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and the role of the Geological Survey Department (GSD) at Southern Sun Hotel in Lusaka on March 19, as participants attend the PanAfGeo Workshop
UNDP Deputy Country Director, Sergio Valdini, gives his opening remarks during the PanAfGeo Workshop on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and the role of the Geological Survey Department (GSD)