The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has successfully stopped an attempt to smuggle one of Zambia’s valuable minerals, Lithium, by intercepting and seizing a truck.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, Oliver Nzala, ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, disclosed in a statement that the operation took place at the Kazungula One Stop Border Post (OSBP). This operation was prompted by suspicions of mineral misclassification by a consortium of exporters.
Initially, the truck claimed to be transporting Silica Sand but was held at the Kazungula Border Post for verification. Acting on a tip-off that it was carrying Lithium Ore, a team comprised of ZRA and Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development officials collected samples from the truck to confirm its actual cargo.
The exporters had declared 29 tonnes of Silica Sands with a value of K18,600, but upon inspection, it was revealed that the truck was, in fact, transporting Lithium Ore valued at K296,000, containing 1.71% Lithium.
Consequently, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development imposed a K90,000 penalty on the exporter for providing false information.
This successful interception is part of increased monitoring efforts concerning mineral exports. ZRA emphasizes its determination to combat illegal activities and warns potential wrongdoers that measures are in place to identify and apprehend them.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, ZRA has intensified efforts to verify mineral quality and valuation at border points. This addresses the issue of exporters submitting false samples when applying for Mineral Export Permits, leading to inconsistencies between permitted and actual mineral quality and value.
ZRA expresses support for the Ministry’s proposal to establish a Minerals Regulator, which is expected to enhance monitoring and enforcement along the mineral value chain.
In the ongoing battle against smuggling, ZRA remains resolute, with government agencies sharing information to catch offenders.
Zambia Revenue Authority reaffirms its commitment to combat smuggling, safeguard economic interests, and promote fair trade. The public is encouraged to report suspicious trade practices to ensure a level playing field for legitimate traders.
Lithium is classified as a Strategy Mineral by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, underlining its significance to the nation.