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Monday, April 6, 2020

Government Responds to former Minister of Mines, Dr. Mpande on Gold Mining Plans

Headlines Government Responds to former Minister of Mines, Dr. Mpande on Gold...

Mines Minister Richard Musukwa with President Lungu at a Potential Gold Mining Site in North Western Province
Mines Minister Richard Musukwa with President Lungu at a Potential Gold Mining Site in North Western Province

Following an article titled, “Mpande Rejects Gold Plan,” published by the Daily Nation Newspaper on Thursday, 2nd January, 2020, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development would like to address the following concerns raised by the former Minister of Mines, Dr. Mpande;

Issue 1 raised: GOVERNMENT SHOULD EMPOWER ITS CITIZENS TO INVEST IN GOLD MINING AS HAS BEEN THE CASE IN TANZANIA.

– Government Response:

Contrary to the assertion, the Government has moved decisively to empower its Citizens over the matter of gold. In fact, Dr. Mpande spoke without getting the details of what Cabinet directed. Cabinet specifically on the matter of Citizen empowerment directed that small scale and artisanal miners be organized and formalized by:

i. Legalizing the gold panning activities by granting gold panning certificates in line with the law;

ii. Providing gold panning equipment to the gold panning communities and cooperatives. In that respect gold panning equipment has already been procured through the Ministry of Commerce that has partnered with the Ministry of Mines to realise this goal of empowering the citizens to have higher recoveries of gold in their gold panning exercises;

iii. ZCCM-IH Plc is establishing offices in the areas where there are gold panning activities. This move is to make it easier for the citizens involved in gold panning to have a ready market for their gold within reach of their mining activities;

iv. Government is only giving Artisanal licences to Citizens because by law, this is a tool to empower Citizens, therefore the move is further evidence that Government means well for its citizens;

v. What Dr. Mpande was citing as trading hubs is what exactly Cabinet directed should be done and has been done by ZCCM-IH Plc establishing trading hubs in the gold panning areas;

vi. Cabinet further directed that Higher institutions of learning be incorporated to provide Research and Development to the gold mining to improve gold recovery methods and also discourage the use of mercury so that we preserve both human lives and the environment. In other words Cabinet wants Artisanal mining to be supported with some extension services so that gold recovery by the citizens involved in gold mining can be increased substantially;

vii. Another directive of the Cabinet was the need to support the artisanal or small scale miners with Borehole water in mining areas where there are no ready water bodies but artisanal/small scale miners are operating or can operate from;

viii. The above measures were all directed by Cabinet to empower Zambian Citizens involved in gold mining and to also encourage others to join in mining gold lawfully.

Issue No. 2: DR MPANDE RAISED AN ISSUE INVOLVING BANK OF ZAMBIA (BOZ) HAVING THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO BUY GOLD FROM THE ARTISANAL MINERS/NEW MINES OPENED.

Government Response:

i. Government means well in allowing the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) to have the exclusive right to buy the gold because it helps build the strategic international reserves using gold Bullion.

ii. Further it is not the first time that Bank of Zambia has been able to buy Gold from the Mines. Before the privatization, ZCCM used to process gold and sell to BOZ, which was a positive move, so we are surprised that Dr. Mpande can frown on an idea that helps the Zambian economy.

iii. BOZ will buy the gold in Kwacha which further strengthens the Kwacha against the United States Dollar.

iv. BOZ will be free to exercise the right of refusal if they are not able to buy the gold. In other words, the government has not effected a ban but rather prioritized BOZ so that the nation can benefit because a vibrant economy affects every aspect of the Zambian lives.

v. The International best practice is that a number of nations around the world are systematically building their Strategic Gold Reserves and therefore the Zambian Government is simply doing what prudent governments do. Examples abound of Countries that are seriously building their Gold Strategic Reserves including China, Turkey, Russia, and Botswana. In those countries, gold is treated in a certain way. It is not surprising that Cabinet Directed that Gold be declared a strategic mineral because of its impact on the economy and lives of the people.

Issue No. 3: GOLD IS NOT A DIFFICULT MINERAL TO MINE OR CONCENTRATE AND PROCESS BECAUSE YOU NEED BASIC EQUIPMENT AND A US$1MILLION CAN BE GIVEN TO CITIZENS TO EXPLOIT THE GOLD.

– Government Response:

We are aware as the government that there are different types of gold deposits. Alluvial gold (Or gold washed down by water) is easy to mine depending on the location, where as there is Elluvial gold (Gold embedded in rocks) usually found in rock structure and other formations is more expensive and requires more financial investment;

For the Alluvial gold, the government has proactively put the programme of Artisanal Miners in place to especially empower its citizens as outlined above. In addition, equipment in the form of panning tables and gold detection equipment has already been sourced by Government to support the Artisanal miners because there is an appreciation that it’s easy to mine the alluvial gold. So Dr. Mpande is attacking from a position of not knowing what Governmnet is doing: if he took time to read what out policy documents say, he will become our Ambassador because Governmnet has done and is doing beyond what he indicated when he was asked about this. The purchase of the gold and organization of artisanal miners commences in ernest on 1st Febraury 2020, so what is currently happening is the establishment of the systems by ZCCM-IH Plc.

As for elluvial gold however, higher investment is required much higher than the US$1million talked about by Dr. mpande hence the involvement of ZCCM-IH Plc in areas like Mwinilunga because more sophisticated methods including processing plants are required to recover the gold. Similar to the the proactive Governmnet stance taken on the small scale/Alluvial gold, the processes for the establishment of the large scale mine in Mwinilunga is underway also set for opening this year 2020.

In other words Government’s approach to both the Alluvial and elluvial gold in terms of how to invest has been done because Cabinet was alive to both realities.

Issue No 4: GOVERNMENT IS PURSUING COLONIAL POLICIES THAT HAVE NEVER WORKED BUT SHOULD EMULATE TANZANIA AND EMPOWER CITIZENS.

– Government Response:

Contrary to the assertion by Dr. Mpande,

a. The Government Policy and strategy on Gold is not different from the Tanzanians. As a matter of fact the strategy is modelled on the Tanzanian/Ghanaian model with modification because of appreciating that there is a Zambian context to mining which the Government strategy has addressed;

b. The policy prioritises Citizens as being a critical part of the strategy to exploit gold: As indicated above Government has never talked about chasing away its citizens involved in gold mining but instead, the government has provided a ready market for the Artisanal miners, in addition to legalizing their operations (Grant of gold panning certificates).

In conclusion, it is clear that Government means well and through the strategy on gold, its an opportunity to empower Zambian Citizens both at a small scale\Artisanal level and also large scale.

Our people must be excited about gold programmes because, through them, the government is creating jobs and empowering Zambians.

Hon. Richard Musukwa, MP,
Minister of Mines and Minerals Development

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25 COMMENTS

  1. P.F Tas!la, [email protected] & other Corrupt goons are currently doing feasibility studies how they will best pocket the Gold proceeds, & use some for campaigns, as I.M.F will no longer fund these Rats, so they divert cash from programmes to reduce poverty & developing the nation, for campaigns, ba K0lw3′ aba!

    • Point out one man with a morning after party, after party look in the picture above. Is he (A)eft (B)right or (C)centre?

    • It exciting that the Gold project is in high gear. Govt should however put in measures to ensure foreign entities do not use Zambians as fronts to create companies for externalizing the gold proceeds. Instead these proceeds should be banked in Zambia and reinvested in the local economy

    • Gold mine are always a source of conflict world over. I think Government has the right voice on this one.
      “People want guidance, not rhetoric; they need to know what the plan of action is and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and the authority to act on it.” –Howard Schultz, Starbucks
      I believe Authority is working on it. Calm Dr. Mpande. Something is being done which never happened under your tenure. That gold must have been lying there for years and years. You’re luck the Chinese never got there first.

    • Order.
      Government should expedite this process.
      While at it, draw up a plan to develop the area and surrounding areas as a matter of policy.
      That gold mine company should go on rampage proactively exploring and discovering new gold deposits in different parts of this endowed Country. No need to bring in the so called foreign investors. Let this be of, by and for the people of Zambia.
      I guess Government did not discover this. They just grabbed it from illegal small scale miners. No wonder Mpande reacted.

  2. Well done Hon Minister of Mines. This is the only positive way to sway ugly rumour mongering among Akainde and his brainwashed cadres who see corruption in everything as a way to hoodwink their gullible followers.
    Follow this up with radio and television discussions on ZNBC and other credible news sources. One other thing, foreigners are already in Mwinilunga and come up with a policy of zero tolerance to illegal dealings and let Government Deploy serious immigration officers to deal with these illegal immigrants siphoning the Gold deposit. You actually create a crack squad made up of officers from different disciplines, Immigration, Police, Army, ZNS and DEC.
    Zambia is ours and can only developed by Zambians.

    • Lungu and his family want to steal first, do you think a thieving useless president like scatter rotten teeth will just watch and do nothing, the guy was born a thief… i.e wanted to steal his own milk from his mum when he was a baby… what a tosser

  3. We are in trouble! Richard Musukwa was recently in the UK to invite British people and companies to come and mine gold in Zambia. This was after a Zambian was shot dead for mining gold, so what is he really talking about? Don’t respond just to counter what Dr Mphande, who is also a Chief, said. Dr Mphande knows better than Richard Musukwa. You can’t deceive us. Most PF Ministers will answer for land, game, inflated tenders, smuggling, mukula, KCM plunder, etc. They have 1 more Christmas to celebrate before they face Zambians

  4. The article is well responded to without insulting anyone. This is how Government should be responding to articles they don’t agree with. So mature and thank you Mr Minister.
    Hopefully Dr Pande can also respond. He is very experienced to have misunderstood what government is doing in the first place. If he is now convinced, let him acknowledge. If not, let him say his concerns so that the minister can further clarify.

    • @Adedos, I cant agree with you more.
      The good Dr. means well and GRZ will do well to invite him and other technocrats to the table to reconcile and formulate best operating practices. How many ministers in cabinet can competently talk about anything mining in Zambia compared to Dr. Mpande?
      One can only pray that when Minister Musukwa talks about artisanal miners or citizens, he is not referring to the Jerabos.
      The country deserves better! I cant put it past this Minister and his colleagues to be the ones who have ordered the panning equipment and accessing the funds to develop this activity.

    • …I also pray further that it is not our leaders (PF) and characters of dubious repute who have been granted these gold panning certificates. The fact that equipment has already been ordered also sows a seed of doubt on the transparency of GRZ.

  5. Ignorance as no defense could Mr Mpande be put in a loop so he will be able to understand the functions of the govt than crictizing from no were,let the man understand the way this game is played he acting as if he was not once in govt.

  6. This is what you call a competent and working government. When they ask, they shall be given answers. We have nothing to hide. Come 2021 I will ensure pf get a minimum of 70 percent of the vote share. Kz

  7. I think both parties played a good role in this whole issue. Dr Mphande raised technical issues that are good and not malicious in anyway. Government on the other side stated their position. I think we have all benefited to know the details of what is going on. The onus is now for us to monitor and ensure that we see those actions on the ground. If i was the Minister, i would even put Dr Mphande on the Board, if such exist. My only plea is lets support the area with proper infrastructure such as roads. it pains me to go to Lufwanyama where we get first grade emeralds driving on bad and dirty roads with residents eating dust from huge tracks that are often escorted by fast moving security. so there is no malice here. Communication for Development is what this is. Period.

  8. These pf goons are good at these long articles. this is all yapping meant to hood wink those who can’t reason on there own. People know not to trust these thieves believe the article at your risk. They tell you one thing but do the other too much secrecy with them. Their cadres are crying seeing how scrupulous these people are, pretend to care when they don’t. They will give u a goat only to steal it while u sleeping

  9. @5.2 David N,that is a good observation. Indeed there is great concern that even panning equipment has to procured and distributed by GRZ,instead of leaving commercial entities to deal with that. We should NOT BE SURPRISED IF ONLY PF CADRES WILL BE THE ONLY ONES LICENCED TO OPERATE ARTISANAL MINES AND OBTAIN PANNING CERTIFICATES AND EQUIPMENT!

  10. ECL will do well to appoint Dr Mpande as Minister of Mines and send the current Minister to Canada as Ambassodor

  11. To be able to get max benefits for the country , to enable Zambians to open a mine , get funding and employ Zambians to earn the country forex , GRZ needs to properly train some Zambians in gold mining operations……or at least provide workshops to those given licenses.

    Donner funding can be sought for this training

    • A prime example of missed opportunities by GRZ is when the PF came to power knowing there will be massive borrowing for infrastructure, some Zambians should have been prepared by training to run construction companies with the view of maximising Zambian employment and keeping profits in the country.

      But alas , the Eurobonds were left to foreign companies to externalise monies and bring in their own people to work.

      In large Zambians were unprepared to run construction companies

  12. If Govt were to be responding like this to important concerns by the citizenry, the people would be better informed. But when you leave important questions to every jim and jack to respond, the nation is left confused.

  13. What are you all saying, didn’t this Minister say the black mountain was safe 2 weeks earlier only to lose 12 precious lives after two weeks. And instead of asking the chap to resign to go and reflect , some of you are praising him. What type of country is this one kanshi where abnormal things appear normal to others. You cant have a country where there is neither accountability nor responsibility, we can be discussing Gold issues here, what if he misleads us again on the gold like he did on the black mountain

  14. Let this help n empower the jobless since government has failed to create employment. No dununa reverse on this one please.

  15. It seems the Zambian government has no plan for the gold, ad whn we know we don’t hv money. Isn’t it gold a source of wht we don’t hv? Why cant we as a govt put up a company to mine/process it ad send it to BOZ. Why should BOZ buy wht belongs to Zambia, this country need money, BOZ will sell for Zambia ad the money will create jobs, fund schools, more state owned companies than hv private companies tht a milking this country.
    Leaders we put u in those positions bt u’re jst looking to yourselves not for the country. The country is a lot of problems, ad how a we going to solve them, we hv the gold bt still we don’t hv the brains. We want foreigners to come here and mine it, if they do it won’t be Zambian gold bt it’ll be foreign owned same as to copper.
    Zambian leaders plse let go…

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