Zambia says the number of mining licences that a company can hold at a time will be restricted to five to curb speculative purchases within the country’s licensing system.
The ministry of mines in February suspended the issuance of mining licences and commissioned an audit in response to public complaints about a lack of transparency.
“Every miner will be restricted to five licences and those that need more will have to justify it,” Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe said during a briefing on mining regulations.
“We have had a lot of licences being used for speculative purposes and we want to curtail that,” Kabuswe said.
He did not name the companies holding more than five licenses but said those should get in touch with the Ministry.
The audit revealed that some companies owned as many as 50 licences.
It also found that some were not registered with Zambia’s patents and companies registration agency and may not be paying tax.
The licensing department, which was expected to re-open on April 11, will resume work on Oct. 19, Mr. Kabuswe added.
He also said illegal miners would be given 90 days of amnesty to register with the ministry of mines.
Mr. Kabuswe said the review of the mining sector was in order to encourage more investment and increase the participation of Zambians in the mineral value chain.
He said restricting the number of mining licensing per entity will ensure that international companies wishing to acquire mining rights, partner with Zambians or companies owned by Zambians.