The Zambian Government has granted more than 1,000 mining licences for small and large scale operations in response to the surge in mining and exploration activities.
Mines and Minerals development ministry director of mines Billy Chewe said his ministry had issued out more than 1,000 licenses since last year to spur development in the mining industry.
Mr Chewe said those granted included prospecting, large scale mining licence, prospecting permit, small scale mining , gemstone, and artisanal mining rights licences.
“We have a number of licenses which we’ve issued in line with regulations. The licenes are in six categories, Mr Chewe said.
He said it was the duty of the Government to ensure that companies that have been granted either exploration or mining licenses begin utilising their mining areas in order to stimulate economic growth.
“We would like to promote the development of the mining industry with friendly registration system so that they can be encouraged to quickly setup their mines. This is because these activities will lead to economic development of the country,” he said.
Mr Chewe said from the large number of prospecting and mining licensing granted, it clearly demonstrates that there was a favorable investment environment.
“The information of licensing is very dynamic because, every day we issue new licenses at the same time some are expiring. At the same time others are renewing their licences. The current running licences are more than 1,000,” he said.
Under the law, all mining rights holders or mineral processing licence holders are required to submit monthly returns of quantities and value produced in a mining area.
On Tuesday, mines permanent secretary Godwin Beene said the Government was losing revenue through defaulting mineral processing licence holders, who are not submitting production returns.