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Minister intervenes in quarry mine saga

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Minister of Mining, Rashid Gaffar, has said all is set for a multi-million Kwacha Tinyoloke Quarry Stone Mine project to commence at Lunjika in Mzimba District.

In an interview, Gaffar faulted officials for delays in issuing an operation license to the firm.

“This project would have helped the government reduce spending on quarry stones. I am following up with my officials to find out what happened and I am very confident that the project will take off soon,” Gaffar said.

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Tinyoloke Quarry Stone Mine Managing Director, Lovemore Moyo, said in an interview on Sunday that if the project commences, the company would employ over 500 people in the first year of its operation.

However, Moyo accused senior officials at the ministry of frustrating the project by employing flimsy excuses, including delaying the licensing of the project.

“I did every necessary thing and followed every necessary requirement to enable me to roll out activities at the site but senior officials at the Mining Department keep on delaying me. I do not know what they are looking for,” he said.

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According to the documents in our possession, Tinyoloke Properties Investments Limited bought mineral rights from Odox Quarry Limited through a legal process and upon direction from the Chief Mining Engineer for Mzuzu, George Maneya.

The company (ODOX) was licensed and the owner resorted to selling of the rights because of her financial incapability following the death of her husband who had enough funds to fund the project. This took place in 2017.

Moyo said since then, he has been working to fulfill the requirements for the rollout of the project.

On January30, 2020, a senior official at the Department of Mining, wrote Tinyoloke Properties Investments Limited, notifying them about the granting of the license number MML0256/19 for an initial period of five years subject to conducting and approval of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) by the Environmental Affairs Department.

According to the letter, Properties Investments Limited has been allocated 1.0 square kilometer.

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