JIMMY CHIBUYE, Lusaka
THE Lusaka High Court has entered a consent settlement order in a case in which Lunga Minerals and Exploration Limited together with Vision Wusakile Empowerment Foundation sued Nkana Alloy and Smelting Company Limited over operations of Kitweâ€™s slug dump commonly known as â€˜Black Mountain.â€™
The order is meant to allow the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to verify the location and areas of mining licences covered by each party.
Lunga Minerals and Exploration Limited and Vision Wusakile Empowerment Foundation have sued Nkana Alloy Smelting Company Limited and the Attorney General, as first and second defendants, respectively, over its interest to extract minerals from the Black Mountain.
High Court judge Mwila Chitabo yesterday signed the consent settlement order following the decision by the four parties to permit the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to verify the areas each party should occupy.
â€œIt is ordered and directed that the plaintiffs and the defendants shall permit the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to verify the location and area covered by the first plaintiffâ€™s mineral processing licence number 103482-HQ-MPL and render a report to the court,â€ Mr Justice Chitabo said.
He further ordered that upon verification, Lunga Minerals and Exploration Limited and Vision Wusakile Empowerment Foundation shall restrict their operations only to areas that would have been verified and covered by their mineral processing licences.
Mr Justice Chitabo said after the verification, operations at the mine site will be conducted without any interruptions from third parties and without prejudice to Vision Wusakile Empowerment Foundationâ€™s claim through Government.
He said the consent settlement order constitutes the full and final settlement between the plaintiffs and defendants over the legality of Lunga Minerals and Exploration Limitedâ€™s mineral processing licence, its location and area covered.
Lunga Minerals and Exploration Limited was seeking a declaration that by virtue of its mineral processing licence, it has exclusive rights to process the Black Mountain.
The company wanted a declaration and an order that Nkana Alloy and Smelting Company Limitedâ€™s hindrance and prevention of Lunga Minerals and Exploration access to the Black Mountain was in total breach of the Mines and Mineral Development Act number 7 of 2008, among other reliefs.
JIMMY CHIBUYE, Lusaka