Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Government extends the suspension of issuance of mining licenses by 14 more days

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The government has extended by 14 more days, the suspension of the issuance of mining licenses.

Last month, the ministry of mines imposed a one-month suspension on the issuance of mining licenses to conduct an audit of the cadaster department following concerns by the general public on the manner in which the licenses were being issued.

Addressing the media in Lusaka today, Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe however said there will be no further extension once the issuance commences on April 11.

Meanwhile, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Paul Kabuswe has said that the government has discovered a number of anomalies that had characterized the Zambian mining cadastre system following an audit.

Mr Kabuswe says the development comes after the Process Audit that was commissioned to deal with the concerns that were raised by the public about the cadastre department, particularly the issuance of mining licences.

Speaking at a media briefing today, Mr Kabuswe disclosed that according to the initial audit findings, there are some people who are owning as many as 50 mining licenses which are hindering effective investment in the mining sector.

Mr Kabuswe said that to cure this problem, a Statutory Instrument will be issued in due course to restrict the number of active mining rights that the same beneficial owners can hold at a given time.

Mr Kabuswe further said that the findings also revealed that some mining firms on the cadastre system are holding mining rights but have never been registered with PACRA which may be a result of corruption and fraud, hence government will seek to address the problem through an initiative called Know Your Customer (KYC).

Mr Kabuswe added that through the support of Smart Zambia, the government will link the mining cadastre system to other authentic government databases in order to avoid fraud.

Meanwhile, Mr Kabuswe disclosed that in order to address the key weaknesses in the cadastre system that have led to a damaged reputation for the department, a Business Process Re-engineering Exercise is already underway spearheaded by Smart Zambia Institute.

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