The PF regime has defended its decision to give Sudanese Nationals the right to control gold using ZCCM-IH as junior partner. Government says the law allows the ministry to grant gold mining licences to both foreigners and Zambians.
Zambians have questioned the government’s decision to enter into a so called joint venture partnership with a foreign firm, Array Metals, to process production of gold deposit in Mumbwa district.
Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), through its subsidiary Consolidated Gold Company Zambia signed the deal with the foreign firm last week, prompting Zambians to cry foul that the deal should have been given to a local firm or better still ZCCM alone.
But Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga said Zambians should stop complaining about their gold being taken by foreigners.
The government, he said, has since declared gold as a strategic mineral meant to allow all citizens to benefit from its exploitation.
“This means gold must be differently handled compared to other minerals in the country,” he said in a statements.
How is giving foreigners licences to mine gold different from giving foreigners to mine emeralds?
He wondered why Zambians were criticizing the ZCCM-IH for entering into a joint venture with a foreign firm when the law states that licenses for gold mining should be given to both Zambian and foreign firms.
According to him, almost 92 percent of all licenses for gold mining were owned by Zambians, adding that license holders were free to seek capital investment from either banks or other investors.