Golden Party of Zambia president Jackson Silavwe says the government has the absolute right to cancel the mining license of the Australian company to mine in the lower Zambezi National park.
While in opposition, President Hakainde Hichilema consistently opposed mining in Lower Zambezi. However, the court ruled that the Australian company granted to undertake mining activities in the area can proceed.
Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu has revealed that the Kangaluwi mine project will go ahead but under strict adherence to measures set by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to limit damage to the environment to a minimum.
Mr Nzovu said with the whole process exhausted and the courts dismissing an appeal to stop the proposed large-scale open-pit mine for want of prosecution, the government is only left with the option of monitoring the situation and ensuring the developer operates within strict conditions.
But Mr. Silavwe said based on a report from the Zambia Environmental Agency, the government can cancel the license to save the area known for vast tourism attractions.
“Based on the ZEMA report, Government still has the absolute right to cancel the mining licence of the Australian based company, contrary to the court judgement by the High Court to allow open pit mining in the lower Zambezi National Park,” Mr Silavwe said.
“I appeal to Government through President Hakainde to listen to the majority stakeholders and citizens and stop this project, promote tourism and preserve the environment. Looking at the current tax regime from the mining sector, tourism is more beneficial to the country in lower Zambezi at the moment.”
He said it is important to put away business interest for the greater good of the country.
“Let’s put away business interests for the greater good of our country. The minerals are ours, they won’t go anywhere, we can mine them in future,” Mr Silavwe said.