Govt Moves To Protect Gold Deposits With New Act

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Cabinet has approved a proposal from the ministry of mines to amend the mines and minerals development act in order to allow the policy on the declaration of gold as a strategic mineral to be realized.

In a statement, Ministry of Mines and Mines development Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga says the amendment to the act will also look at other gaps in the laws including improving monitoring and evaluation, licensing and other lacunas identified by stakeholders.

Mr Mulenga explains that a policy on gold alone will not work without the laws and regulations being aligned with the policy.

He says the approval by cabinet to amend the existing mining law paves way for the completion of measures on gold mining so that the issues are further clarified through regulations.

Mr Mulenga says the ministry therefore welcomes views from Zambians and stakeholders on how the law can be enhanced to ensure the country maximizes benefits from the extractive sector.

And Mr Mulenga has disclosed that Zambia currently has 3666 licenses as at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, Harry Kalaba is calling on government to quickly come up with a plan that will give priority of issuing gold mining licenses to youths as away of empowering and creating wealth among citizens.

Following the discovery of gold deposits in north-western province, several stakeholders have called on government to safeguard the mineral deposits from illegal mining after reports of illegal mining activities by suspected political cadres.

In an interview, Mr Kalaba is concerned that if priority is given to foreign companies to take up the mining operations, the country stands to lose more revenue because foreign investors will externalize the profits leaving very little for the local economy.

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