Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Small Scale miners plead with Govt not to revoke licences

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By JOHN SAKALA
Small Scale Miners Association of Zambia has implored government to rescind its decision of wanting to revoke dormant mining companies.

This is because the move will affect Zambian mining firms that are grappling to penetrate the industry.

Speaking with The Independent Observer, Small Scale Miners Association Executive Director Kunda Chani said instead of cancelling government should through ZCCM-IH devise a system where big mining firms partner with locals in order to empower them.

Mr Chani said most small scale player struggle as they have limited resources during exploration and other process with most of them failing to even submit quarterly report in the five grace period.

He suggested the Ministry of Mines through ZCCM-IH should therefore come up with cooperatives which consist of viable small scale miners and find an investor to partner with them.

“They is good will for small scale miners because they want to be part and parcel in developing these resources. As small scale miners we implore President Edgar Lungu through ZCCM-IH to come on board and try understand why such mines have been dormant for so long.

“The only way we are going to develop is when government through ZCCM-IH promote cooperatives for small scale miners,” he said.

And in a separate interview mining Surveyor Chipoka Mulenga said revoking mining licence for dormant mining firms is a bad idea.

Mr Mulenga said most of the defaulting owners are locals due to lack of resources and also failure to secure partnership with giant investors in time.

“A caring leadership must engage the defaulting owners and reason with them on failing causes. Possibly, lobby on their behalf viable partners with equity holdings in the mining stake. Better still, government should help build the small scale mines like they have done with Konkola Copper Mines. I do not mean liquidation but building it alongside the peasant owners,” he said.

On August 3, President Edgar Lungu had directed the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to cancel all dormant mining licences.

The President said the ministry should also revisit all mining licence holders and ensure the permits are given to people who can utilise them.

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