Over 400 mining companies are facing the prospects of ceasing their operation in Zambia for failing to meet statutory obligations as required by law. The Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources has issued default notices to the companies specifying that they risk having their mineral processing or exploration licences cancelled if they do not remedy the defaults within 60 days starting from Friday, March 16, 2012:
“In accordance with provisions of section 102 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act number 7 of 2008, the director of Geological Survey hereby gives default notices to the under-listed holders of prospecting licences and mineral processing licences with the following defaults: Non-payment of area charges on the anniversary of grant, contrary to section 143 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act, failure to commence and carry out prospecting operations contrary to section 19 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act, and failure to submit quarterly and annual exploration reports, contrary to provisions of the Act….”
On the list includes First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Zambia Limited, Equinox Zambia Limited and ZCCM-IH, BHP Billiton World Exploration Incorporation Zambia Limited, Zhonghui Mining Industry Limited and others. The new government has signalled its intent to tighten the grip on statutory obligations.