LPM unhappy with Lithium mining suspension

Martin Endjala

The Landless People’s Movement Party Deputy Leader Henny Seibeb has appealed to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources to summon the Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo, to answer and provide evidence in support of his decision to revoke the lithium license of Xinfeng Investment in the Daures Constituency.

According to Seibeb, it is suspicious that the Minister’s decision to revoke the lithium license of Xinfeng Investment happened on the eve of the standing committee’s investigations and public hearing with leaders and community members on the matter.

“This is sabotage to the standing committee’s work. In fact, I am appealing to the Chairperson of the Committee Tjekero Tweya to summon the Minister to come and stand before the committee and provide evidence and materials of any wrongdoings which prompted him to revoke the licence only now”, Seibeb said.

The MP says that the decision seems to be utterly suspicious and undermines the mandates and duties of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

Several calls have been chanted by the communities to cancel the mining license of the said company, but the Minister defended the company during his visit to the Erongo region, saying that there was no proof found suggesting any wrongdoing.

The committee arrived today in Okambahe, and it will be stretching its facts finding to Uis and Omatjete over its next presiding three days in the Constituency.

Meanwhile, Alweendo in a letter to lithium miner, Zhou Hao informed of his decision to revoke Mining License 243 situated in the Exclusive Prospecting License (EPL) 7228 area near the small desert settlement of Uis.

During the application for ML 243, Alweendo said that Xinfeng deliberately included misleading, untrue and incorrect information, adding that the explanation given by Xinfeng in both written and oral representations have not shown that the information pointed out as misleading, untrue and incorrect was indeed truthful, correct and not misleading.

Furthermore, “there was no intention not to mislead the Minister in granting ML 243. In fact, it only confirmed the fraudulent nature of the information on which the decision to grant the aforementioned license, was premised,” Alweendo said.

The said misleading, untrue and incorrect information was a key material and relevant consideration in deciding whether to grant ML 243.

“Consequent to the afore decision, you are instructed to cease any and all operations related to the granting of ML 243 in the EPL 7228 area by 31 May 2023,” Alweendo ordered.

In contrast to this, the lithium miner was ordered to surrender the physical ML 243 document on 31 May 2023 to Isabella Chirchir the Mining Commissioner at the Head Quarters of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

An investigation launched by the mining Ministry also targeted officials in its geological and mineral departments after allegations of fraud, theft of mining claims and extortion surfaced.

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