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Legal Framework

The Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development responsible for enacting legislations for the mining sector in Zambia. The Mines and Minerals Act (1995) enacted by the Zambian government simplified licensing procedures significantly, placed minimum reasonable constraints on prospecting and mining activities and created a favourable investment environment. At the same time, the act allowed international arbitration to be written into development agreements, if deemed necessary.

In 2008, this Act was replaced by the Mines and Minerals Development Act 2008, which ruled that no special agreements should be entered into by the government for the development of large-scale mining licenses and annulled the development agreements concluded under the previous Act.

Mining companies now operate under a common legislative framework regulated primarily by Act No. 7 of 2008 (the Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2008). Uranium exploration and mining are regulated by the Mines and Minerals Development (Prospecting, Mining and Milling of Uranium Ores and Other Radioactive Mineral Ores) Regulations of 2008.

On 22 December 2014, the Act was amended on Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Act [No. 11 of 2015] and became effective 14th August 2015 .  A new act was further amended on Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Act [No. 14 of 2016 419] introduced and became effective on 1st June 2016.

Investment in most types of mineral operations are covered by the Zambia Development Agency Act of 2006, although minerals produced for the construction industry, such as clay, sand, and most types of stone, are excluded. The government policy does not participate in exploration or other mining activities, or in any shareholding activity other than in a regulatory and promotional role. The right to explore or produce minerals is authorized by a license granted under the Mines and Minerals Act.