Reuters reports that Zambia will carry out regular audits at all mines to avoid any repeat of the situation at Vedanta unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), which has breached the terms of its licence, the mining ministry said on Thursday.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu said on Monday the government planned to strip KCM of its mining licence and bring in a new investor. His spokesman said the move followed a number of breaches of the terms of the licence, without giving details.
The government’s action on KCM has added to concerns among the mining community about rising resource nationalism in Africa.
Mining Minister Richard Musukwa said the action at KCM “should not be misconstrued as nationalisation” and followed KCM’s failure to “comply with licence conditions”.
“The government will be undertaking regular audits at all the mines to ensure compliance and avoid the recurrence of the situation at KCM,” he said.
Zambia has already riled miners with tax changes that mining companies say will deter the investment Zambia desperately needs after repeated warnings from the International Monetary Fund about its debts and shrinking foreign currency reserves.