Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha

By Mwaka Ndawa

THE State has sued nine mining firms in the Lusaka High Court for nonpayment of K1.5 million each, being the statutory penalty levied against them for illegally operating mineral processing plants.

The State wants the companies to account for all proceeds realised before the grant of the licences.

Government wants the court to award it punitive damages, damages for breach of statutory duty, interest, costs and any other relief that the court may deem fit.

The companies involved are Adventex Investments Limited, Weixin Company Limited, Xihe Mining Limited, Hocean Mining Company Limited and Tongxin Company Limited operating on the Copperbelt in Kalulushi, Chingola and Kitwe.

Others are Markov Investments Company Limited, Jun Sheng Industry Company, Bolo Mining Limited and Mineral Junction and Transport Company.

According to several statements of claim, the State said sometime in July 2017, the geological survey department in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development conducted an inspection on the operations and adherence of the defendants in line with the provisions of the mines and minerals development Act No.11 of 2015.

Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha said during the inspection of the defendants’ mines it was discovered that the companies have been operating mineral processing plants without licences, contrary to the law.

He said the companies were fined five million penalty units statutory penalties each, which is equivalent to K1,500,000 on September 7, 2017.

Kabesha said his office issued several letters of demand to the mining firms claiming the statutory penalties, but the defendants had refused, neglected and ignored to honour their obligations.

“The plaintiff has travelled on several occasions to the defendants’ known addresses in an attempt to settle this matter amicably, but the defendants have not been open to settlement, hence the commencement of this action to seek redress in this court of law,” contended Kabesha. “Government has suffered damage and loss in that the mines were processing minerals without licences, loss of tax on the money realised and loss of use of the same money.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here