Govt. urges Lumwana mine to get license to mine uranium

Mutanga Uranium Project

Government has urged Barrick Lumwana Mine Plc management to apply for a license if it wants to start mining and extracting uranium.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said the mine was only given a license to extract copper.

Mr. Yaluma said in parliament today that currently, Lumwana Mine Plc only stores uranium but does not export it.

The minister explained that government does not allow the export of uranium, which is a by-product of copper or copper concentrates.

Mr. Yaluma, who is also the Patriotic Front (PF) Malole Member of Parliament (MP), disclosed that government was considering awarding the mine a license should it apply for it.

He said government will thereafter, tax Lumwana Mine Plc in order to raise more revenue as is stipulated by law.

He revealed that his ministry has put in place a legal framework to regulate the mining sector especially when it comes to the handling and disposal of not only uranium but other mineral deposits in the country.

The minister was responding to a question raised by United Party for National Development (UPND) Mwinilunga MP Stephen Katuka who wanted to find out what quantities of uranium have been produced by Lumwana Mine Plc from inception to-date.

Mr. Katuka also wanted to know what the value of the uranium is, the total production and how much had been sold as of 31st December 2013.

Furthermore, the Mwinilunga law maker wanted to know how much money, in taxes, the government realised from the sale of the uranium, what long term health concerns were expected in relation to the mine workers handling the metal and what legal framework government has put in place to regulate the mining, handling and disposal of uranium in the country.