CIVILSTRUTS Consortium Limited, an indigenous Zambian firm, has agreed to buy off all core mining assets of the Collum Coal Mine.
According to an assumption of debt agreement signed between Civilstruts Consortium Limited and Collum Coal mining industries Limited on February 22, 2014, Civilstruts agreed to acquire 100 per cent of the mining core assets of the Sinazongwe based mine.
The agreement between the two parties comes as a boost to resolving the stretching stand-off between the government and Collum Coal Mine former owners over determining the actual value of the mine in which the Chinese are alleged to have overvalued assets and are seeking compensation, sources close to the transaction said.
The Zambian government last year halted operations of the Chinese-owned coal mine after revoking its licence because of safety and environmental lapses, as well as failure to pay mineral royalties. Then mines minister, Yamfwa Mukanga, said that the government had cancelled all three licences held by Collum Coal Mine and the government would “continue operating them until a suitable investor is found”.
The government, has however, failed to reach an understanding with the Chinese over the asset value of the 12,000 tonnes per annum coal mine that has been controversial, with a history of poor safety, health and environmental compliance problems, mainly due to the employment of non-qualified personnel.