Array Metals Limited, a company which has signed a partnership for the supply of gold to Consolidated Gold Company Zambia Limited (CGCZ), a joint venture between ZCCM-IH and Sudanese Karma Limted, has been mining in Mumbwa without a licence as it only holds an exploration licence, it has been learnt.
Ministry of Mines data seen shows that Array Metals Limited was granted an exploration licence over a mining cadastre in Mumbwa on June 25, 2018, which expires on June 24, 2022.
It is almost two years since the grant of this exploration licence but to date, no exploration works have been done by Array Metals, instead, it is carrying out mining works without a licence.
The company further has no geological team and has never submitted quarterly reports to the Ministry’s Geological Survey Dept, thus being in default of the Mines and Minerals Act and in breach of the grant of the exploration license which does not allow a company to mine.
With this background, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) would be expected to suspend Array’s exploration license for commencing mining without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a license.
Additionally, Array Metals, which was represented by its vice-chairman Chris Rugari during the signing of the gold supply partnership, has no site office and no exploration team, further bringing into question the aspect of whether or not ZCCM-IH conducted a due diligence as they should.
Further, data presented by Array Metals with regard to quantities of gold expected to be mined does not tally with their activities as no exploration has been done.
The Ministry of Mines has made efforts to explain the gold ore supply partnership between Array Metals and State owned ZCCM-IH through a joint venture with a foreign company owned by Sudanese businessmen, claiming that they have the money to develop the gold sector.
However, ZCCM-IH seems more liquid than the so-called foreign investors picked for the gold deal as the state institution lends most of the IDC companies money like ZESCO as much as $30 million.
Why and how ZCCM-IH decided to pick on a small unknown Sudanese company to raise money for gold operations with ZCCM
-IH is something unclear to Zambians, despite efforts by the Ministry of Mines to explain the unusual partnership.