THREE pieces of legislation related to the mining sector will be brought before Parliament for debate this year, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Walter Chidhakwa said the finalisation of the three laws would enhance investment and growth of the mining industry — one of the key pillars of the country’s economy.
The three pieces of legislation are the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, Mining Exploration Promotion Company Bill and the Pan African University of Science and Technology Bill.
Minister Chidhakwa expressed confidence that one of the bills would be heard during the first sitting of the august House this year.
“The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill was sent to Parliament and it’s one of the two pieces of legislation in the House awaiting allotment of time to be debated by the legislators,” said the minister.
“The second one is the Mining Exploration Promotion Company (MEPC) Bill, which will facilitate the conversion of MMCZ but we’re still seized with the budget and once the budget is finalised we’ll now move to those pieces of legislation.”
Minister Chidhakwa said the government has also finalised the Pan African University of Science and Technology Bill, which will be responsible for spearheading value addition and beneficiation of the country’s vast mineral resources.
“So this is where we’re and we’re hoping that all the bills will sail through during the course of this year and that the first bill will be brought before the house when Parliament resumes sitting,” he added.
Once passed into law, Minister Chidhakwa said the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill would address farmer/miner disputes as the current act gives sweeping powers to the miner as mining supersedes all other economic activities on a mining claim.
The minister said the new laws would also deal with environmental issues that compel mining companies to rehabilitate the land from where they had been carrying out their activities.