PCB Mining Limited has demanded for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to immediately re-instate its licence no.24988-HQ-SEL, being 375.443 hectares of the Kasenseli gold mine area in its original shape as per High Court judgement dated September 11, 2023.
High Court Judge, Edward Musona, ordered ZCCM-IH and its subsidiary, Zambia Gold Company Limited, to forthwith transfer the said licence to the rightful owners, PCB Mining Limited.
Justice Musona further ordered the defendants to pay PCB Mining Limited dividends and damages as assessed by the High Court registrar.
He ordered the defendants to stop the mining operations and vacate the area.
According to a letter dated September 21, 2023, to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals, PCB Mining Limited was demanding for the licence to be re-instated in its original shape.
“The re-instated licence no. 24988-HQ-SEL, shall have a full five-year tenure from the date of its reinstatement,” read the letter.
In November, 2021, PCB Mining Limited sued Zambia Gold Company, ZCCM-IH and Kasenseli Gold Mine as first, second and third defendants for breaching the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on June 18,2020.
It stated that it was on July 29, 2019, granted a small-scale exploration licence for a period of four years under licence number 24988-HQ-SEL, in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Development Regulations, 2016.
“On December 27, 2019, the plaintiff received a default notice breach from the Minister of mines Richard Musukwa, to the effect that the Ministry of Mines wished to revoke the licence within 30 days if the plaintiff did not show cause why the licence should not be revoked in the plaintiff’s view, the letter was meant to exert undue influence on it,” it stated.
PCB Mining Limited said this led to discussions with the defendant over the licence and later into a joint venture.
“The Ministry approved the transfer of the licence under the said licence from the plaintiff to the first defendant but the plaintiff would retain 12.5 percent stake in the joint venture company that would be incorporated,” plaintiff argued.
The plaintiff, however, terminated the MOA on August 20, 2021, for breaches of non -payment of the 10 percent mines resource despite several reminders.
In defence, the defendants said they were not privy to the correspondence between the plaintiff and the ministry of mines and mineral development regarding the issuance of the mining licence.
They further denied the allegation regarding an agreement for joint venture made between the plaintiff and them and that undue influence was exerted on the plaintiff by the defendent’s which culminated into discussions for the exploration licence.
But Judge Musona dismissed the defendants’ argument saying the evidence showed that they continued to explore the licence area for gold but did not provide evidence in the firm of reports for the mined resources from January 2021 to date.
“I order that the first and third defendant immediately, render an account of all mined resources on the licence area from the day of the MOA to date. This is for the purposes of determining the actual amounts due to the plaintiff,” he said.
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