SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The African nation of Zambia announced that it plans to limit the number of mining licenses issued to single firms. Henceforth, the number of licenses that a company can hold at a time will be limited. The decision is aimed at curbing speculation and promoting mining investment in the country. Incidentally, the country’s licensing system is currently undergoing digitalization.
Last month, the Ministry of Mines had suspended issuing new licenses. Furthermore, it had initiated an audit process, following complaints of lack of transparency and abuse in the country’s licensing system.
The Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe said that initial findings of the audit process confirm that a few companies, mostly small and medium-sized, own too many mining rights, with some owning up to 50 licenses. In some cases, the licenses issued to multiple companies were found to benefit the same owners. Also, some companies were found to be not registered with the country’s registration agency, thereby evading tax.
Meanwhile, the Minister did not disclose, when the order restricting the number of mining rights will be issued. Also, he did not provide any hint on the upper limit. The audit is expected to be completed in two-weeks time.
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