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K100 billion needed for minerals identification

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The Ministry of Mining needs $100 million (about K100 billion) to explore and establish mineral deposits the country has.

Between 2012 and 2014, a physical mapping of the whole country was done to establish where resources are and the amount to provide a database of information to investors.

Minister of Mining Albert Mbawala said the mapping could not give details of particular types of minerals the country has.

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“The report produced anomalies. So we have to go a step further to say what is inside; is it gold, uranium or diamond? That is what we are engaged in,” he said.

Although he said the ministry was still looking for the funds, the French government had expressed interest and the ministry was working on the proposal.

He told Parliament that the ministry has issued 48 new large-scale mineral exploration licences from July 2021 to date, 19 retention licences, five medium to large-scale mining Licences, and 322 small-scale mining licences.

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He said several international and local companies continue to be actively engaged in mineral exploration, mine development and mining for various minerals adding that the ministry needs K5 billion to set up a state-owned National Mining Company for the promotion of the sector.

The ministry has since written the Treasury requesting to be considered in the 2022-2023 midterm budget review.

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