The Zambia Chamber of Mines has appointed Goodwell Mateyo as its new president at a council meeting held earlier this month.

In a statement availed by Chamber deputy chief executive officer Talent Ng’andwe, Mateyo, a legal practitioner, has taken over from outgoing president Nathan Chishimba, who has retired as the Chamber policy head after two consecutive terms.

“The incoming Chamber president is a highly experienced executive, who has demonstrated ability in regulatory engagements in the mining and financial sectors. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Mateyo has worked as a legal advisor to the mining industry for years. Mr Mateyo will be deputised by Mr Nicolas Bowen, a seasoned industry veteran who will serve as vice-president,” Ng’andwe stated in a media release issued, Tuesday.

“Mr Mateyo takes over the policy lobby group at a time when the mining industry is facing an imminent change in its fiscal regime as outlined in the 2019 national budget announced by the Minister of Finance. Mr Mateyo took this opportunity to disclose that members of the Chamber are thus reviewing their operations and having to consider scaling back substantially while reducing capital expenditure by over a half a billion (US) dollars over the next three years. Consequently, reductions of over seven thousand direct jobs and more than double this number of indirect jobs would result.”

And Mateyo, a senior legal officer at Mopani Copper Mines, welcomed the new challenge, and stated that mining companies are hopeful of favourable feedback from the Ministry of Finance on the proposed mining fiscal policy changes, which are meant to take effect from next month.

“While feedback on our representations to the Ministry of Finance is awaited, the membership remains hopeful of averting such an outcome and are strongly committed to robust engagement above and beyond the process outlined by the (Finance) Minister [Margaret Mwanakatwe] in which the reconstitution of the Tax Policy Review Committee was announced,” stated Mateyo.

Chishimba provided oversight on the policy and lobbying activities of the mining sector during the period of energy deficit and Value Added Tax (VAT) refund crises and several changes to the fiscal regime in the sector.

He was involved in cementing relations with government and signed up to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), an initiative which encourages government, mining companies and civil society organisations (CSOs) to show transparency and accountability in the extraction of Zambia’s natural resources.