PF takes over Column Coal Mine

Government has with immediate effect cancelled all the mining licenses held by Column Coal Mining Industries Limited of Sinazongwe in Southern province.

Government has since taken over the running of the mines and will continue to operate them until a suitable investor is found.

Column coal mine has had history of poor safety, health and environmental compliance mainly resulting from employment of non-qualified personnel.

Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfwa Mukanga announced at a press briefing in Lusaka this morning that government was left with no option but to cancel the mining licenses of the mine because the company totally failed to rectify anomalies in its operations.

Mr. Mukanga notes that the mining company has also failed to meet statutory obligations such as declaration of mineral production and payment of mineral royalty to government.

He states that the mining company as of last year owed government in excess of 5 billion kwacha.

Mr. Mukanga says government supports responsible investors in the mining industry whose operations are in line with the provisions of the law.

He has since warned that the Patriotic Front government will not hesitate to cancel other non-compliant and inactive mining rights including prospecting licenses where holders fail to remedy the default as directed by his ministry.

The Mines Minister has also appealed to all workers at the mine to remain calm assuring them that there will be no disruption of normal operations of the mines adding that no jobs will be lost.

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