The Zambian government says the country was losing millions of money in taxes through illegal mining of manganese in the central and northern parts of the country, the Times of Zambia reported on Monday.
Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Richard Musukwa said the government has since started auditing all licenses granted to small-scale miners in order to put a stop to the problem.
“Government through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines- Investment Holdings is re-profiling small-scale manganese licenses and transforming them into large-scale permits that will attract credible investors,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.
“This is also being done to ensure a fair and profitable return from manganese mining, so that the industry contributes to job and wealth creation for the local people,” he added.
According to him, the government was losing colossal sums of money out of manganese being mined illegally and smuggled into neighboring countries hence the need to re-profile the licenses.
The two provinces, which are endowed with huge manganese deposits, could not attract investments in the past due to persistent activities of illegal mining, he added.
The official said several foreign investors have already shown interest in developing the manganese reserves in the two provinces.