By Staff Writer
Cabinet has reviewed and approved policies, recommendations, models and reports for publication and introduction in Parliament in order to facilitate service delivery to Zambians.
This is in agreement with the government’s transformation agenda.
And Chief Government Spokesperson Chushi Kasanda said that Cabinet has also approved the Mineral Resources Development Policy and Implementation Plan for 2022 to 2026.
She said Cabinet has observed that the Mineral Resources Development Policy of 2013 is inadequate in dealing with the many new issues taking place both locally and internationally in the mining industry.
Ms Kasanda said that there is need to address these new challenges that have emerged in the industry such as low investment in mineral exploration and mining, low participation of Zambians in the mineral value chain, inadequate growth coupled with the informality of the artisanal and small-scale mining sub sector, and to operationalize the new Government ambitions to ramp up Copper production to three million metric tons per annum by 2031.
“During the 24th Cabinet Meeting held at State House that Cabinet has approved some recommendations from the 2022 findings of the Mining Cadaster Audit Report based on the key findings and recommendations from the Audit of the Mining Cadaster System for Mining and Non-Mining Rights, and the approved recommendations include re-opening the Mining Cadaster Department following the completion of the audit exercise, floating of the bids for the blocked mining rights to companies which are wholly or partly owned by Zambians, restricting the number of mining rights an entity or company or related companies should have to only five, ensuring that foreign entities, wishing to acquire mining rights, partner with Zambians or companies owned by Zambians, and utilization of ICT in the conduct of business to avoid human interaction,” she said.
Ms Kasanda said that Cabinet further agreed to address the issues which have compromised the issuance and management of Mining Rights, implement decisive measures to unlock investment in the mining industry, and enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in the administration of mining rights,” she said
During the same meeting Ms Kasanda said that Cabinet also approved the Integrated Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining and Marketing Development Model, which will be used to develop the Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining sub sector, identification or appointment of a Government entity as the Gold Aggregator, establishment and formalisation of the gold marketing centers, establishment of a Gold Refinery and value addition centers through Private Public Partnerships (PPPs), establishment and operationalisation of the Minerals Regulatory Commission, and provision of State Security in all gold mining areas and improve security in trading areas for gold miners and traders.
Ms Kasanda who is also the Minister of Information and Media explained that Cabinet also approved the Fourth Cycle National Report on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
“The Report can be submitted to the Human Rights Council as per the Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 adopted on 25th March, 2011, and decision 17/119 pertaining to the review of the Council, the second and subsequent cycles, which provides that Universal Periodic Review (UPR) should focus on, among other things, the implementation of the accepted recommendations and developments of the human rights situations in the State under review” part of the statement read.
“Cabinet is convinced that artisanal gold mining is one avenue through which the Government can fight extreme poverty, especially in the rural areas and consequently, lead to development in line with the Eighth National Development Plan,” she said