Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata says 51,800 hectares of land has been recommended for allocation to Kalumbila Trident Mine for mining activities, whereas 6,878 hectares has been set aside for development of mine townships.

Kapata was responding to a question asked by Solwezi West UPND member of parliament, Teddy Kasonso, in Parliament, Tuesday, who asked how many hectares of land were allocated to Kalumbila Trident Mine and whether the allocated land legally belonged to the mine.

Kapata, however, said the land did not yet belong to mine legally as they were in the process of obtaining a Certificate of Title.

“Total hectares of land that have been recommended for allocation to Kalumbila Trident Mine is 51,800 hectares for mining activities, and 6,878 hectares for the development of the mine townships. The land does not yet belong to them legally, they are in the process of obtaining Certificate of Title. Other necessary documents have been provided. Certificate of Title shall be issued to the mining company,” Kapata said.

She said despite the process still on-going, the mining company had the right to implement mining activities.

“However, it must be understood that despite this process still on-going, the mining company has the right to implement mining activities on the basis of mining rights issued under the Mines and Minerals Development Act No 11 of 2015. They are in the process of obtaining Certificate of Title,” Kapata added.

And as a follow-up question, Kasonso asked the Lands Minister for an assurance that the title deed would be issued to the mine, adding that the figures he had were different from those that had been allocated to the mine.

“Minister, I thank you for your statement, but the figures that I have are different from what you have mentioned as the figures that have been allocated to the mine. The mine applied for 51,800 hectares and were allocated 38,490 hectares. For the township, they applied for 6,878 hectares and were only allocated 5,040 hectares. However, that is not my big concern. My big concern is that Kalumbila Mine started operations in 2011, to-date they neither have a title deed for the mining rights nor for the township development. The consequence of this lack of title is hindering development in the mine township as well as the MFEZ. When can you give an assurance that the title deed will be issued to the mine?” Kasonso asked.

But in response, Kapata assured Kasonso that the title deeds would be given to the mine as soon as they paid the consideration fee.

“I can assure you that the title will be given. Initially an (Invitation To Treaty) was given to the mines and the figure on the ITT was K328,300,000 which was on the higher side. The mines have since appealed to the Ministry to reconsider the figure. At the moment we are looking at that figure and we are going to reduce it and give them the title as soon as they pay the consideration fee,” assured Kapata.

“Other than the high figure, there was a problem between the mines and His Royal Highness Senior Chief Musele, who after he had offered the mines to the miners, claimed the signature, which was on the papers, were forged. So, I travelled to Kalumbila myself in the company of the Minister of Local Government to go and sort out that problem, which we did. As far as we are concerned we have sorted it out and this is why an ITT was given to the mine. So it’s just the figure that now stands in between the title deeds. If they can pay the new fees, then we shall give them the title deeds.”