Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development Permanent Secretary Dr. Hapenga Monty Kabeta says, the Mining Cadastre Department has a backlog of Mining licence applications which accumulated following the opening of the Cadastre office in November 2022. The Cadastre Office was closed for a period of eight (8) months to enable the Ministry of Mines to review its operations. The operations of the Office have since been streamlined to make it more efficient. He says, after resuming operations on 21st November 2022, the department received over 2000 applications which are currently being worked on. He has assured Mining stakeholders that the backlog of Mining licence applications will be cleared by 31st July, 2023. Dr. Kabeta says, the Ministry is doing everything possible to clear the backlog of applications so that it concentrates on new ones that started coming in after November, 2022. So far, about 800 applications have already been considered by the Mining Licensing Committee. These applications include Small Scale Mining Rights and Artisanal Mining Rights where most citizens, through companies, community cooperatives and individuals are participating. The proportions of licences granted so far per type are as follows; Large scale Mining Rights 5 out of 20 (25% application success rate), Large Scale Exploration Licences 150 out of 254 (59% application success rate), Small Scale Mining Licences 21 out of 100 (21% application success rate), Small Scale Exploration Licenses 145 out of 238 (61% application success rate), Artisanal Mining Rights 152 out of 188 (81% application success rate) and Mineral Processing Licences 5 out of 8 (63% application success rate). Dr. Kabeta observes that the rejection rate is high among small scale Mining applications because of failure to comply with requirements. Dr. Kabeta adds that the Mining Cadastre service delivery systems are being improved to try and minimize human interfaces from end to end. This will increase transparency and ease the application process for people living outside Lusaka. When fully operationalized, the system will ensure all payments and follow ups are done online. However, the help desk will be available to address client queries and inquiries as the case might be. Dr. Kabeta says, currently the department processes applications manually but the Ministry is working in collaboration with Smart Zambia Institute to digitize all documents and actualize a full online processing of applications including payments, which will enable clients to apply online, avoiding delays and queues. Meanwhile, Dr. Kabeta says going forward, stakeholders will also be informed of the results of each Mining Licensing Committee meeting as such results will be published on the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development website to increase transparency and enable necessary follow-ups by applicants. The Permanent Secretary says, the application process works on an automated first-come first-served basis; hence clients do not need to know anyone working in the Ministry in order for their applications to be processed ahead of others. Instead, applicants are advised to ensure they submit quality applications to lessen chances of being rejected. He cites the following as some of the reasons many applications are rejected; • Applications falling on areas subject to other Mining rights without valid consents from current holders contrary to Section 16 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act; • Applications without valid coordinates contrary to Section 21 (2) of the Mines and Minerals Development Act; • Applications for Mining licences not supported with applicable mineral resource statements or geological exploration reports; • Applications for Mining licences without project approvals from Zambia Environmental Management Agency; • Generally, applications not compliant with application requirements. Dr. Kabeta says, the Ministry is committed to serve members of the public and Mining sector stakeholders in line with its core values of Transparency, Accountability, Integrity, Patriotism, Objectivity and Innovativeness.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *