Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Head of programmes Geoffrey Chongo says government needs to legislate the registration of mines and awarding of mining licenses to ensure that individuals and entities applying have the capacity to finance mining operations.

In an interview with News Diggers in Lusaka, Tuesday, Chongo said the legislation for the awarding of mining licenses would help in reducing the number of dormant mines around the country.

“Only three out of 200 registered mining companies are operating in Lufwanyama district. Among the 200 registered mining companies most are Zambian firms that are not operating because of lack of capital. We need to be transparent and collect more tax revenues for the growth of our economy. So, we can clearly see that a lot of people rush to go and get mining licenses which they either rarely use, or they do not have enough finances to see to it that they run a certain mine which they registered under their name. and its government jobs to ensure that activities are regulated because there are other people who are well able to get licences and run mines,” he said.

Earlier, Chongo stressed the need for mining companies to contribute to children’s rights and development.

He was speaking when he presented findings on a case study on the role of mining companies in Lufwanyama District, in promoting children’s right to education, health and sanitation.

“The council is not collecting enough property tax from mines because the mining area in Lufwanyama District needs to be surveyed so that the numbering can be completed as quickly as possible. There is also need for enhanced security in the restricted mining areas and introduce stringent measures to deter illegal mining activities, as well as encroachments into the mining area. The mining companies working in Lufwanyama District were contributing to the promotion of children’s rights to education, health and water and sanitation.
Community members however feel that this contribution has been limited and it was felt that there was need for a more systematic approach to ensure effective contribution towards enhancing the access to children’s rights to education, health and water and sanitation,” said Chongo.