GOVERNMENT has repossessed a total of 32 mining concessions, which were lying idle across the country as it moves to implement the “use it or lose it” policy.
The concessions are among the 213 earmarked for repossession in the first phase.
Further, Government has also reclaimed 21 000 hectares of mining land following failure by owners to pay inspection fees.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando told Business Chronicle that Government was serious about taking back mining concessions that are not being used for productive reasons.
“At the moment, on the use it or lose it, we have 32 out of the 213 concessions that have been processed and by end of the month, those who were holding on to them would have lost them,” he said in an interview.
“There are 213 concessions earmarked for repossession under the first phase.”
Minister Chitando said the mining concessions will be allocated to other companies willing to immediately work on them.
The Mines and Minerals Act empowers Government to repossess unused mining concessions to prevent speculative holding of valuable assets.
The regulation also seeks to promote investment, job creation and ensuring broader access to mining assets by allowing those ready to mine to file claims and obtain concessions.
Under this exercise, small claims are consolidated to make viable mining concessions that are then allocated to genuine investors willing to start mining operations. Government is working towards transforming the mining sector into a US$12 billion industry by 2023.
The mining sector is a critical foreign currency earner as it contributes about 70 percent of the country’s forex earnings whose projected growth by 2023 represents a huge jump from the US$2,7 billion achieved in 2017.
By 2030 Government expects that the mining industry alone would be generating more than US$20 billion.
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