SENIOR chief Mboroma of the Lala speaking people in Luano district has welcomed government’s decision to suspend mining licenses in his chiefdom.
Recently, government, through mines minister Christopher Yaluma, announced the suspension of mining licenses for some small-scale mines operating in some parts of Eastern, Lusaka and Central provinces.
Petauke, Luano and Rufunsa are among the districts in which mining licenses have been suspended.
Commenting on the development, senior chief Mboroma hailed government’s decision, saying the move would bring sanity in the issuance of mining licenses and, subsequently, curb illegal mining activities.
“My take and comment on that [suspension of mining licenses] is that it is a welcome move. The suspension of mining licenses in those selected districts will go a long way in ensuring that there’s sanity in the issuance of mining licenses to small scale miners by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development,” senior chief Mboroma said in an interview.
“Other than that, the decision to suspend mining licenses will help a lot in curbing illegal mining activities in Luano district and my chiefdom, in particular. As you know, illegal mining activities deprive government of the much needed revenue because those people do not pay taxes to relevant government institutions or agencies.”
The traditional leader, however, appealed to the government to devise a deliberate policy aimed at issuing mining licenses to local people in his chiefdom that would want to engage in small-scale mining.
“While we appreciate government’s decision to suspend mining licenses in Luano Valley, the cry of my people here and, which is my appeal as senior chief Mboroma, is for government to come up with a deliberate policy that will see the issuance of mining licenses to local people that intend to do mining of mineral resources on a small scale; provided these mining activities are regulated,” said senior chief Mboroma. “That way, government would be empowering the local people in Luano district. We will also see that government’s revenue base will broaden because these local people will be willing to pay taxes to the government.”
Luano valley in Mkushi South Constituency has deposits of gold, quartz and manganese, among other minerals.
However, large-scale mining of these minerals has been a challenge owing to the unforgiving terrain in Luano, which makes is difficult for earth moving equipment to be ferried to the valley.
As a result, illegal mining activities are common in Luano Valley.