LUSAKA Feb 20 Zambia has revoked licences for a
Chinese-owned coal mine over poor safety and environmental
compliance, as well as a failure to pay mineral royalties, the
minister of mines said on Wednesday.
Yamfwa Mukanga said the government had cancelled all three
mining licences held by Collum Coal mine, situated 325km (200
miles) south of the capital Lusaka.
"The government has also taken over the running of the mines
and will continue operating them until a suitable investor is
found," Mukanga said in a statement.
Chinese companies have invested more than $1 billion in
copper-rich Zambia, but there have been some signs that
animosity towards them may by growing as some Zambian workers
accuse companies of abuses and underpaying.
Zambian police last August charged a miner with the murder
of a Chinese supervisor and 11 others with rioting and theft
during a protest over pay at the Collum Coal mine.
Mukanga said the mine had a history of poor safety, health
and environmental compliance, mainly due to the employment of
"In some instances the entire mine has been closed to allow
the mine management (to) comply with mine safety department
directives, but there has been no improvement," he said.
The mine did not have emergency medical treatment facilities
such as ambulances or a first-aid station underground, he added.
Collum Coal Mine had also failed to declare its mineral
production as required for all mining companies under Zambian
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by David Holmes)