Miners’ association alleges plot by govt officials to cancel, cede dormant licenses to foreigners


Government’s decision to cancel over 2,500 mining licenses for small scale miners has upset the Emeralds and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ).

The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development recently announced intention to revoke these licenses for being dormant.

Reacting to the plan, Association President, Victor Kalesha, wondered who the government intended to give these licenses to.

Kalesha told reporters on Friday that this was worrying, accusing some officers at the Ministry of wanting to give these licenses to foreign companies at the expense of the local people.

“We are extremely worried at the overzealous officers At the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, especially cadaster department who are putting Zambians at a disadvantage with threats of trying to dig out certain laws that will have them grab mining licenses from the Zambians.

“It is obvious that there are officers in those offices who ill-advice government on certain statutory requirements that need engagement. We are worried if they are able to rise up and say they are canceling 2000 plus licenses for Zambians and who do they want to give them to? This is worrying because we know that some officers are geared in wanting to give these licenses to foreign investors or foreign companies,” he alleged.

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