THE Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has suspended operations at Kasenseli gold mine in North-Western Province for contravening conditions of its mining and exploration license.

Addressing the media, Friday, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe said all operations at the mine would remain suspended until his ministry was satisfied that conditions were safe.

“We would like to make a very important announcement as the Ministry of Mines and as minister, following our recent visit to Kasenseli Mine on the 14th of October, with my senior ministry officials, it was observed with dismay that the Kasenseli mine has contravened conditions of its mining and exploration license. That presents danger of imminent harm to persons within the mining area some of which include; unsafe underground…of the pit, unplanned mining plan contrary to the requirements of approved operations parameters, loss of life within the mining area without safety consideration by the mine, and also a displaced community which was unfairly compensated,” he said.

“You may wish to know that the Zambia gold company has lost its social license with the people. And because of this, due to these unsafe and non compliance of the license conditions, the ministry through mines safety department has suspended with immediate effect all production at Kasenseli gold mine until remedial measures are put in place. So all operations that are happening at Kasenseli have been suspended forthwith until the ministry with the mines safety department is satisfied that conditions are now safe and the social relations with the community in Mwinilunga, particularly chief Chibwika’s area are normalized.”

The mines minister said issues surrounding the mine should be resolved within two months at the most.

“For now we will give that clear cut position as we enforce what we have done. What I can tell you is that the new dawn government always has the best interest of the nation and workers at heart. This is not a decision that will take forever. We have given ourselves maybe within a month to be able to resolve all the issues,” said Kabuswe.

“If we fail within a month, at the most maybe 60 days just to make sure that all the salient issues are actually dealt with. We are suspending the operations because we want to reorganize it. We want to make sure that we have a clear cut system. There has been a lot of scanty information over the mine and that’s why we have moved in as the ministry to bring back sanity to the mine.”