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Saturday, 19 February 2011 13:28

State Engages World Bank on Unexplored Minerals

LUSAKA, Zambia, February 18, 2011 (Times of Zambia) - The government has engaged the World Bank to initiate the air surveys for the remaining 42 per cent of the geological mapping of Zambia to ascertain areas with unexplored minerals.


Mines and Minerals Development Minister Maxwell Mwale said the geological mapping of the country had only covered 58 per cent and that most unexplored parts were south of Copperbelt, Central, Western, North-Western and Luapula provinces.


He said this in Lusaka on Wednesday when he officiated at Association of the Zambian Minerals Exploration Companies (AMZEC) indaba at Intercontinental Hotel.


The minister said most grounds remained to be explored in detail and that it was from such areas that potential petroleum could be found.


The World Bank president Robert Zoellick on his last visit was receptive to the proposal.

"The Government is engaging the World Bank to initiate airborne surveys over these unexploited areas.The information will also help us understand the geological evolution of the areas," Mr Mwale said


He said mineral potential of such areas would be realised partly by petroleum exploration and drilling. Results would bring out a wealth of formation on petroleum, mineral and ground water resources in the country.


He said diversification in the mining industry to industrial minerals, gemstones and other minerals that were required for energy, high-tech industry and jewelry had seen exploitation activities extended to almost all areas of Zambia.


"It is the view of the ministry that the expanding economies of China, India, South America and Africa will continue to require the mineral resources for development.


"Therefore the demand for mineral will continues to increase. It is imperative that detailed information packages on minerals be developed in response to this demand pattern," Mr Mwale said.


He said mineral exploration in Zambia had been successful as evidenced by discovery in recent years of mineral deposits away from Copperbelt and development of new mining projects like Trident in Solwezi, Denison's Muntanga and African energy Chirundu Uranium projects in Southern Province.


Others include current exploration of base metals in Central, Western and North-Western provinces by BHP Blilliton and its partners.


Meanwhile, the ministry in collaboration with the Chamber of Mines of Zambia and AZMEC will host the first Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference dubbed "AZMEC 2011" in Lusaka from June 11 to June 17 this year.


The conference that would attract various mining companies and investors would be held under the theme: "Developing a self sustaining Zambian Extractive Industry Driven by Private Sector Partnership."


AZMEC president Gilbert Temba urged the exhibitors to utilise the conference by showcasing Zambia as a preferred mining and energy investment destination in the world.


Mr Temba said the AZMEC 2011 conference should unveil opportunities for small scale farmers to expose minerals in a bid to attract investors from various countries who would attend the exhibition.


Africa and Middle East Trade limited (AMETrade) managing director Dan Coberman said investors should develop new mines considering Zambiaís gold and diamond deposits in some parts of the country.


And Kaindu royal establishment chairperson Cliff Kasise appealed to the Government to consult communities before granting mining licenses to inventors.


He said always want certain developmental projects from investors in their areas which were not fully met. (END/2011)


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