The government is to intensify the inspection of mining activities in Maputo province in order to ensure that all operators comply with the law, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Leticia Klemens announced yesterday.
The increase in construction projects in Maputo has increased demand for rock and various types of sand, leading some operators to cut corners. The minister explained that stricter inspections would ensure that mine operators practiced their activity without harming the environment.
“Inspection will be very strict. At one point we did soften [inspections] as a way to give Mozambicans more opportunity, but that phase is over. Now Mozambicans must prove they are good entrepreneurs, who are qualified to be in this area,” Minister Klemens said after a meeting with representatives of mining associations and Maputo operators.
Klemens gave the meeting a positive assessment and said that some of the problems identified were caused by the lack of communication between the parties. Quoted by O País, the minister said this constraint would be overcome and the parties would remain in contact, resulting in improvements in sector activities.
Mining operators complained during the meeting that they were target of extortion by authorities, in reply to which the minister called on the operators to report all instances of corruption so that offenders could be identified and held accountable.
Another difficulty identified by the operators was the value of the surface tax, which they claim is very high and thus fail to pay. The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy informed the mining operators that the revision of the surface tax is currently being analysed by the Council of Ministers and that the executive would soon give its opinion.
The province has 190 mine owners, of whom 118 have mining certificates, 50 are concessionaires and six operators with exploration and research permits. Maputo has reserves of limestone, bentonites, diatonites, stone and construction sands.
The meeting between the minister and the miners was included in Klemens’ two-day visit to Maputo province. During her stay, the minister visited Petromoc’s Língamo fuel terminal to inspect security measures to combat theft during the storage and transportation of fuel.
Minister Klemens also visited the 40-megawatt Muhalaze power substation, a US$5.6 million facility with the capacity to supply 30,000 new electricity clients
Source: O País