Zambian Mines minister
Wilbur Simuusa.
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 31 January 2012 – The government of Zambia has confirmed that it will soon review the Mines and Mineral Development Act to bring it in line with best practices in other legislation in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.

Mines minister Wilbur Simuusa said here that the government wanted to identify and address the weakness in the current legislation framework to derive maximum benefits from the country’s mineral resources. The draft act was expected to be completed by the end of this month before submission to the Ministry of Justice in February.

Simuusa said Zambia was lagging behind other countries in the SADC region in terms of legislation, but that government was determined to bring the act in line with other countries. Zambia was not deriving maximum benefits because of the weak legislation framework.

He went on to say that the government would also review mining taxes after the amendment of the Mining Act was completed.

“The Times of Zambia” reports that mine experts and stakeholders have proposed that the minister in charge of mines be responsible for approval and granting of all applications for large-scale mining rights with the director of mines and geological survey. This means that the two parties would serve in an advisory capacity to the minister bringing it in line with other SADC countries.

They suggested that the director should approve all applications for small-scale and artisanal mining rights, and that the director of geological survey should approve and grant applications for prospecting licences for areas of less than 400 hectares.

Stakeholders further proposed that holders of an Artisans Mining Right should be entitled to mine all minerals including gemstones but excluding radioactive minerals, saying that the mining rights should be restricted to Zambians.