Zambia to Revoke Mining Rights
The Zambian government will revoke mining licenses issued to foreign investors who have not developed their mines, President Levy Mwanawasa has announced.
Large-scale mining firms hold prospecting licenses for mines across the country that have either been idle for many years or cover excessive areas of land, he claimed.
“I am therefore instructing the minister of mines to strictly implement the policy of ’use it or lose it’,” vice president Rupiah Banda read on behalf of Mwanawasa at a mining show.
“The minister will terminate the mining rights of investors who are not using their licences,” he announced.
The policy will allow the country, one of the world’s leading copper producers, to retrieve some of the mining areas, which will be given to Zambian businessmen in order to promote citizen empowerment.
A cross-section of Zambians have demanded that foreign mining giants not be granted large-scale mining rights without going into partnership with local businessmen.
This development follows a similar announcement last week from the government of the Philippines, raising concern over inactive foreign investors.
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