Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Paul Kabuswe says all mining firms operating without an Environmental Impact Assessment are operating illegally as no mining licence is issued without a valid Environmental Impact Assessment.
Mr. Kabuswe stressed that all mining licences are issued only upon submission of an approved Environmental Impact Assessment and that any mines operating without one are in breach of the law and will be dealt with accordingly.
“According to the law, a mine cannot operate without an Environmental Impact Assessment. Then they are illegally doing that, they need to have that before a mining licence is issued so meaning that anyone doing that may have an invalid mining licence or an illegal one for that matter and we will get to them, we can’t tolerate that”he warned
In a telephone interview with ZANIS today, Mr. Kabuswe disclosed that his Ministry will upon completion of the audit of the cadastre department come up with a structure that will help curb such practices in the future.
“That’s why we are auditing cadastre, after we reopen, we are going to recall a lot of issues and we will structure something that will curtail that “he added.
Last week Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Collins Nzovu ordered the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to take action against mining companies operating without conducting Environmental Impact Assessments after inspecting some mines in Mkushi that were found wanting by ZEMA.