Friday, May 31, 2024

Zambia’s Mining Licenses backlog to be cleared by July 2023, says Permanent Secretary


Zambia’s Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has announced plans to improve the processing and issuance of mining licenses. According to the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hapenga Monty Kabeta, the Mining Cadastre Department has a backlog of mining license applications that accumulated following the opening of the Cadastre office in November 2022.

The Cadastre Office had been closed for eight months to enable the Ministry of Mines to review its operations. The operations of the Office have since been streamlined to make it more efficient. After resuming operations on 21st November 2022, the department received over 2000 applications which are currently being worked on. The Permanent Secretary has assured mining stakeholders that the backlog of mining license applications will be cleared by 31st July, 2023.

The Ministry is doing everything possible to clear the backlog of applications so that it concentrates on new ones that started coming in after November, 2022. So far, about 800 applications have already been considered by the Mining Licensing Committee. These applications include Small Scale Mining Rights and Artisanal Mining Rights where most citizens, through companies, community cooperatives, and individuals are participating.

The proportions of licenses granted so far per type are as follows; Large scale Mining Rights 5 out of 20 (25% application success rate), Large Scale Exploration Licences 150 out of 254 (59% application success rate), Small Scale Mining Licences 21 out of 100 (21% application success rate), Small Scale Exploration Licenses 145 out of 238 (61% application success rate), Artisanal Mining Rights 152 out of 188 (81% application success rate) and Mineral Processing Licences 5 out of 8 (63% application success rate).

Dr. Kabeta observes that the rejection rate is high among small scale mining applications because of failure to comply with requirements. He adds that the Mining Cadastre service delivery systems are being improved to try and minimize human interfaces from end to end. This will increase transparency and ease the application process for people living outside Lusaka.

When fully operationalized, the system will ensure all payments and follow-ups are done online. However, the help desk will be available to address client queries and inquiries as the case might be. Currently, the department processes applications manually, but the Ministry is working in collaboration with Smart Zambia Institute to digitize all documents and actualize a full online processing of applications including payments, which will enable clients to apply online, avoiding delays and queues.

Stakeholders will also be informed of the results of each Mining Licensing Committee meeting, as such results will be published on the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development website to increase transparency and enable necessary follow-ups by applicants.

The Permanent Secretary says the application process works on an automated first-come, first-served basis. Hence clients do not need to know anyone working in the Ministry to process their applications ahead of others. Instead, applicants are advised to ensure they submit quality applications to lessen chances of being rejected.

The Ministry is committed to serving members of the public and mining sector stakeholders in line with its core values of Transparency, Accountability, Integrity, Patriotism, Objectivity, and Innovativeness.


  1. They mean to be cleared only after HHs business associates have been granted licences. Some of us indigenous Zambians are still waiting. I will procure a muzungu to submit application on my behalf. F00Iish upnd

  2. It’s good that you have issued a statement on this matter but be mindful that there’s nothing that can’t be explained in this world. Even a person caught red-handed will try to explain. So the only credible explanation is to improve your work rate. You’re holding development. Don’t forget that the people at Cadastre Department are human and interact with others. They also have their own stories. If your statement is a lie, people already know because those in the system have already told their side. Can you make it easier for Zambians to exploit their God given resource? You’ll be remembered for that

  3. Why are small scale miners’ permits most negatively affected? How can 800 overall applicants take 7 months to adjudicate while heaping blame on manual handling when Smart Zambia enterprise resource planning system is on your side? Previously, mining hasn’t done well and we shouldn’t be overly expectant.

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