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15.09.2021 04:42 News >> Zambia Suspends Mining Activities At All Dumpsites

Zambia Suspends Mining Activities At All Dumpsites

Mines minister says operations need to be fully legalized.

Zambia has suspended mining activities at all dumpsites as part of efforts to restore "sanity" to the operations, the country's newly appointed mines minister said Tuesday.
Addressing reporters in the capital Lusaka, Paul Kabuswe said the industry was currently marred by corruption and selfishness, with only a few people benefiting from local minerals.
"Currently, we are only benefiting 2% from our mineral endowment," Kabuswe said. "The sector is for everyone, and not a few selfish ones. This new government will work to ensure equal benefits for every Zambian."
He assured investors of a stable policy regime to govern the sector and that the reforms would result in a win-win situation for all players.
The minister also touched on corruption affecting large-scale operations, especially in the awarding of mining licenses, which compromised safety standards
Kabuswe declined to immediately disclose the new government's position on two operations repossessed from foreign investors by the previous government of Edgar Lungu.
The Mopani Copper Mines and Konkola Copper Mines in Copperbelt province, located 400 kilometers (248 miles) north of Lusaka, were previously run by Swiss conglomerate Glencore and India's Vedanta Resources, respectively.
Konkola was liquidated by Lungu on account of low operational capital investment, while Mopani was taken over after Glencore pulled out.
"This is a very big issue which needs policy direction from the head of state, President Hakainde Hichilema," he said. "I may not be fully competent to address this matter at the moment."
Zambia is Africa's second largest producer of copper, with annual output just under a million tons.
However, policy issues governing the sector have been the source of much controversy, with Canada's First Quantum Minerals (FQM) reportedly holding back an additional $2 billion in fresh investment.
Eurasian Resources Group Africa also halted operations at a unit.
In his maiden address to parliament Friday, Hichilema assured that his "new dawn" administration was committed to implementing a stable policy regime which would result in conclusive dispute resolutions with investors. -



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