Wale calls for moratorium in all mining licence
Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale has called on the Government to place an indefinite moratorium on mining licences.
Wale said moratorium should be placed on both prospecting and mining leases until new legislation has been passed in parliament, or at the very least that the witnesses in the current law are rectified.
In an interview with SIBC News, Wale said the current Mines and Mineral Act is outdated, way past its usefulness, and did not have the protection the country needed to protect its mineral resources.
“The first come, first serve rule in the current law is outdated and is a great risk to the proper management of our mineral sector.
“It is being exploited by companies with dubious capacity owned by shareholders with dubious character. The government’s policy to fast track three mining licences in particular, is a bad decision,” he said.
He said the country’s minerals are a nonrenewable resource that must be protected.
“Companies that are being considered for this fast tract licences already have a clear and direct association with individuals we know in the logging industry to have participated in transfer pricing and other illegal and unethical conduct.
“The government must not allow the practices in the logging industry to be migrated over to the mining industry,” Wale highlighted.
He adds, if no changes are made in the current legislations before the mining issue, it would be clear to the people of this country that the government is intent on ensuring those bad practices are repeated in the mining sector.
“This country and its people will again be the biggest losers if that were to occur. It is a terrible excuse to say these licences need to be fast-tracked to increase government revenues.
He said people continued to be looted by foreigners of dubious character.
“It is good practice that the government consults the people in matters that affect their rights and lives, even though that government is of the view that the people are incompentent to contribute meaningfully to particular debate of particular items of government policy.
by Jared Koli