MINISTER of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe says confusion associated with illegal mining will no longer be tolerated under the new dawn administration.
Delivering a ministerial statement to Parliament, Wednesday, Kabuswe warned that the new government under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema would not allow illegality in the mining sector.
“Madam Speaker, the new dawn government wants to bring sanity to the mining sector. You will therefore see changes that promote greater transparency because we believe that the mining sector, if properly harnessed, can resolve problems in other sectors and act as a catalyst to grow the economy. The confusions associated with gold where illegal mining was the order of the day will not be tolerated under the new dawn government. In addition, the wanton illegal mining and destruction of the environment in other base metals, industrial and energy minerals will be a thing of the past under the UPND government. The illegalities in manganese mining, the smuggling of emeralds and the destruction of the environment by illegal miners is unacceptable and let me sound a warning that the new dawn government of president Hakainde Hichilema will not allow illegality in the sector,” Kabuswe said.
He disclosed that his ministry was consulting key stakeholders to review the mining tax policy framework in order to design and develop a fiscal tax regime for the sector that will be stable among others.
“Madam Speaker, with regards to the position and strategy for the mining sector, the new dawn government under my ministry is focusing on the following: government has been consulting with key stakeholders to review the mining tax policy framework in order to design and develop a fiscal tax regime for the sector that will be stable, predictable and competitive to ensure sustained investment in the sector. This will also attract both local and foreign investment in mining and ultimately scale up mineral production in the country,” he said.
“Madam Speaker, my ministry is enhancing monitoring and oversight mechanisms and technologies to reliably ascertain the volume and content of mining output for taxation purposes. In addition, the government will capacitate officers managing the mineral output statistical evaluation system (Moses), mining cadaster administration system (MCAS) and those deployed at border posts to enhance transparency and accountability of the mineral resources. Government has started the process of consulting stakeholders on modalities to ensure the presence of officers in areas where mining is taking place to enhance monitoring and accountability of the various minerals being exploited.”
Kabuswe said government was putting in place a policy and plan to facilitate local ownership and increased participation of Zambian players in the industry.
“Madam Speaker, the government is putting in place a policy and plan to facilitate local ownership and increased participation of Zambian players in the industry. The house may wish to note that the findings of a study conducted by the African development bank (AFDB) in 2019 revealed that the mining sector procures between 4 to 5 billion United States dollars annually in goods and services. However, only about 10% of this originate from Zambia. Therefore, localizing a significant portion of mine procurement would promote participation of Zambians across the mining value chain,” he said.
“Madam Speaker, in addition, the government started a process of developing a national supplier development policy for the mining industry to increase the local supply of goods and services to the industry. This will be achieved through the provision of technical assistance and mentorship, which includes among others, suppliers with detailed technical specifications in order to improve the productive and servicing capacities of the local suppliers.”
And Kabuswe told parliament that he would provide elaborate information regarding the status of both Konkola and Mopani Copper Mines.
“Madam Speaker, in conclusion, with regards to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines plc (MCM), my ministry will revert to this August House with specific statements on each upon thorough consultations. The people of Zambia voted for change to protect and better manage national strategic assets such as KCM and MCM thus, safeguard the livelihood of Zambians depending on mining. The future of copper mining remains economically viable with the emerging developments in the manufacturing industry of electric vehicles. Therefore, there is a need for the country to strategically position itself in order to benefit from the green energy transition,” said Kabuswe.