Colum Coal license cancellation not nationalization – Sakeni
Lusaka, February, 26.ZANIS—Government says the cancellation of the mining license for Collum Coal Mine Limited should not be mistaken for nationalization.
In a statement made available to ZANIS today, Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said the action by government is merely a cancellation of the Mining License due to the breach of the Mines and Minerals Development Act number 7 of 2008 by the company.
Mr. Sakeni stated that the cancelation followed the issuance of several notices to the company by the Mine and Safety Department, which the mining company’s management repeatedly did not comply with.
He explained that the Mines and Minerals Development Act Number 7 of 2008 empowers government to cancel mining rights, saying the cancellation does not affect any liability that the holder of such a right incurred before the annulment.
Mr. Sakeni who is also s Information and Broadcasting Service Minister noted that in the case of Collum Coal Mine, the Director of Mines had ensured that all assets of the Mine were applied towards pre-cancellation liabilities.
He stated that once a mining License has been cancelled, the area reverts back to government, and is available for reallocation to applicants by the Mining Advisory Committee, on a first come first save basis.
Mr. Sakeni said the involvement of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM–IH) is therefore not government takeover, saying ZCCM-IH applied for the mining rights following the cancellation of the mining license from Collum Coal Mine.
He added that the withdrawal of the license was done in national interest and in line with the law.