Tukongote Mining Limited v The Attorney General & Another (HP 1954 of 2014) [2021] ZMHC 11 (30 July 2021)

Case summary

The Plaintiff (Tukongote) applied for a declaration that, having paid renewal fees and area charges, as demanded by the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development, it is entitled to be issued a Small-Scale Gemstone License by the Director of Mines. It further applied for an order directing the Director of Mines to cancel the Small-Scale Gemstone License (License) issued to the Second Defendant.

Tukongote averred that it received a letter in which it was stated that the emerald mine located at the plot in question belonged to the Second Defendant. It was argued that the Second Defendant, who was an employee of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development, used his position to acquire the license and that this was in breach of the procedures set out in the Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2008 (Act). It was argued that, by accepting the renewal fees from Tukongote and Tukongote having remedied the default regarding area charges, the Director was obliged to grant Tukongote a license. 

The court rejected Tukongote’s version of events, holding that Tukongote had lodged a fresh application for the license and not a renewal thereof. It found that the Ministry of Mines rejected the Plaintiff’s fresh application as the Plaintiff’s previous license had expired. 

On the issue of whether the Second Defendant, as a government employee, is disqualified from holding a mining license, the court referred to section 7 of the Act, which lists the persons disqualified from holding such a license. It found that the Second Defendant was not disqualified from holding a mining license. It dismissed the whole action with costs.

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1. Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2008 16 citations

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