Zambian authorities have impounded and seized a truck for attempting to smuggle lithium ore.
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) said on Wednesday that its officials, working with officials from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, intercepted the truck at a border entry in the southern part of the country following investigations against a cartel of exporters misclassifying the export of valuable mineral products.
Oliver Nzala, ZRA corporate communications manager, said the truck was intercepted after the exporter declared that it was carrying silica sand, which was found to be lithium ore after verification.
“The interception is a result of enhanced vigilance in the monitoring of various mineral products that are exiting the country’s borders.
The authority would like to send a strong warning to all would-be perpetrators of such crimes to desist as several measures have been put in place to identify such acts, and will ensure that the offenders are brought to book,” Nzala said in a statement.
He said the ZRA, working with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, has intensified its mineral quality and mineral valuation verification activities at the borders after noting that a number of minerals have been presenting false samples when applying for mineral export permits.
Nzala added that the ZRA is in support of the decision by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to put in place a minerals regulator. “It will go a long way to address the existing gaps in the mineral value chain monitoring and enforcement.”