Zambia launches probe on illegal issuance of mining licenses

A truck is loaded with rocks at a  copper mine in Lumwana, Zambia, in this undated handout obtained by Reuters on April 4, 2011. REUTERS/Equinox-Tim Lofthouse/Handout

The Zambian government said on Thursday that it has instituted a serious audit of how mining licenses were issued in the past.

“As government we have instituted a serious audit on how licenses were issued in the past. There were a lot of irregularities in the manner the licenses were issued,” Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe said in parliament.

He said the current government was not going to allow what happened in the past in the way licenses were being issued which saw the issuance of licenses even in areas where it was not suitable to conduct mining activities.

According to him, the issuance of licenses will now follow strict adherence to laid down procedures, adding that any applicant that will not abide by the requirements will not be granted the license.

He further said all licenses that will be found to have been irregularly issued will be repossessed.

The ministry, he said, will now be working in close collaboration with other ministries such as the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment before issuing any mining licenses.

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