The allegations surrounding the transfer of the exploration license from Zamsort to Handa Resources, a joint venture between Anglo American and Arc Minerals, are deeply concerning.

If true, this would indicate a serious breach of legal and ethical standards in the mining industry.

The involvement of individuals with close ties to the Zambian government, including Valentine Chitalu and Norman Mbazima, raises questions about potential conflicts of interest and the integrity of the license transfer process. It is essential that these allegations are thoroughly investigated to determine the truth and hold those responsible accountable.

The alleged forgery of documents and fraudulent attempts to transfer the license without the knowledge or consent of Zamsort directors further highlight the need for transparency and proper regulatory oversight in the mining sector. Such actions undermine the trust and confidence of stakeholders, including local communities and the government.

Anglo American’s decision to demand that the license reverts to Zamsort after discovering the irregularities demonstrates their commitment to responsible business practices. It is crucial that they continue to work with Zamsort directors to rectify the situation and ensure that all parties involved are treated fairly.

The Zambian government should also take swift action to investigate these allegations and ensure that the mining sector operates with transparency and accountability. This includes reviewing the processes and regulations surrounding license transfers to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Overall, these allegations highlight the importance of upholding ethical standards and ensuring that mining operations benefit all stakeholders, including local communities and the government. Any fraudulent activities must be exposed and addressed to maintain the integrity of the mining industry in Zambia.

Furthermore, it has come to light that the transfer of the exploration license from Zamsort to Handa Resources was carried out by the Ministry of Mines and authenticated by the Zambia Revenue Authority, despite the knowledge that the matter was already in court under cause number 2016/HPC/0509. This raises serious concerns about the integrity and due diligence of these government bodies.

On the 5th of October 2023, Judge BC Mbewe signed a Consent Judgment that effectively reversed all the licenses held by Handa Resources, Afrimin Resources, and Zaco Investments back to the original license owners, Zamsort. The Consent Judgment clearly states that the transfer of Mining License No. 19906-HQ-LEL to Handa Resources by way of change of particulars was illegal, and therefore, the license still belongs to Zamsort Zambia Limited.

The Consent Judgment also highlights that the parties involved agreed to be bound by and give full effect to the terms of the settlement agreement entered into on the 29th day of September 2023. The costs for this matter were determined to be the responsibility of the defendants, to be agreed upon or taxed in default.

These revelations further underscore the need for a thorough investigation into the alleged fraudulent activities surrounding the license transfer. The involvement of government bodies in the authentication of the transfer, despite the ongoing legal proceedings, raises serious questions about their adherence to legal processes and their commitment to upholding the rule of law.

It is imperative that the Zambian government takes immediate action to rectify this situation and ensure that justice is served. The mining industry relies on trust and transparency, and any breaches of these principles must be addressed to maintain the integrity of the sector.