The Chamber and a number of Chamber members attended a conference in Lusaka from the 25th April to the 26th April organized organised by Zambian Episcopal Conference on the Laudato Si, Pope Francis’s encyclical : “Care for our Common Home in the Context of Large Scale Investments – Mining and Agriculture” that was held at the Government conference Centre.
The relationship between large scale mining and agriculture and local civil society has had problems in the past but the message from the Pope to all stakeholders was to acknowledge the damage that has been afflicted on the environment and the need for urgent dialogue by all stakeholders to find lasting and sustainable solutions to the challenges being faced.
The conference was attended, a part all the important speakers, by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who was representing the Pope, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia His Excellency Julio Murat, their Royal Highness’s Chief Mumena and Chief Mpande and the Deputy Minister, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The conference discussed the impact that large scale industry has on the livelihood of those affected in the proximity of the operations. The conference noted the contribution of mining to the development of society and the contribution to job and wealth creation of the country, however it challenged the industry to practise responsible mining that respects the environment and the affected communities.
Our President, Nathan Chisimba, addressed the conference and conveyed the message that starting from the reality, about the social and environmental damage made in the past, now , according to Pope Francis message, all parties should work together to solve the problems in an open and sincere dialogue.
Following the conference, a Communiqué of Laudato si Conference was issued and is attached. (published also on the Pontifical Concil justice and Peace web site: http://www.iustitiaetpax.va/content/giustiziaepace/en/archivio/news/2016/zambia-episcopal-conference–zec—communique-on-the–laudato-si.html )
Chamber of Mine aware about the important and positive impact that this conference had also between many mining companies, specially those committed in Reflection’s days already organized with the Religious Leadears (with the Vatican and the Anglican Church) will work in order to propose to the ZEC another conference that could be organized, as follow up of this conference in the Copperbelt
The recent Zambia conference was the first of the planned regional conferences to encompass the spiritual community, major industry, civil society and the government.
To quote former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who spent time in exile in Zambia:
“I am an African…I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers….and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land…”
To paraphrase Mbeki, I am a patriotic Zambian.
I work for a listed global mining company. I am proud to be both a Zambian and a modern miner, and I see no contradiction in that, merely a continuation.
Copper is the foundation of our development. For decades, it has fed Zambians, it has housed Zambians, it has educated, clothed and protected Zambians.
And, at least 600 years before copper was “discovered” in Zambia in 1895 by American scout Frederick Russell Burnham, copper crosses were being used as currency in the great trading civilisations of the 11th and 12th centuries.
Our Zambian Coat of Arms, adopted at independence in 1964, pays a fitting tribute to our industry by prominently featuring a miner’s headgear.
As the world continues to develop and industrialise, it drives demand for copper. So, despite the current downturn, copper has a great future.
Can Zambia be a part of that future? I firmly believe it can.
Last year, we produced 711 000 tonnes of copper – more than three times the level of 15 years ago.
I have a vision that in another 15 years, when my hair is greyer, Zambia’s copper production will have breached 2 million tonnes.
I believe this is achievable.
The copper is there.
Zambia’s mines have enough reserves to last another 50 years. More recent discoveries could take us well into the next century.
The long-term demand is there.
As countries in Asia, Africa and South America develop and industrialise, they will need copper.
But the story of Zambian mining should not only be about copper. We have undeniable evidence that Zambia is capable of producing a wider range of mineral materials if concerted effort is made to address the long term sustainability of the mining sector in Zambia.
And in mining, the long term is everything.
It takes at least a billion dollars to start a new mine, and several years before a return on investment is possible. But when good mining meets a good, stable policy framework, investors will commit their capital. This will result in a reinvigoration of exploration projects, which will then drive discoveries that will promote new and more exciting mining projects.
It is this fusion that we must strive for, if Zambia is to maintain its position as a favoured mining destination.
Yes, last year’s 711 000 tonnes is a record. But if you go back to forecasts made a few years ago, we should by now be closer to 900 000 tonnes.
Yes, our existing reserves are extensive.
But after a century of mining, the ore grades are lower, and the copper is more technically challengeing – and expensive – to access.
Since privatisation, approximately $12 billion has been invested in Zambia’s mines. Kalumbila and the recent modernisation of Mopani are just the latest shining examples.
But more is needed.
The World Bank is forecasting a decline in Zambia’s copper production after 2019, unless there is, quote-unquote, a “new wave of investment”. Given the timescales in mining, we have no time to lose.
All of us here today know that policy instability and friction between Zambia’s Government and mining industry have benefitted no-one in recent years. But, I truly believe those days are past us. Since early last year this Government has shown that it is willing to listen. To those investors here today, I point to the recent decision to lower MRT, in the face of budgetary pressures, as evidence of long-term policy making to safeguard the future health of the country’s pre-eminent industry.
The industry, too, has learnt from recent times. We acknowledge our wider role as a developmental driver for Zambia, and we recognise that we must ‘make our case’ to the people of Zambia.
This week, the Chamber has launched a new website, appropriately titled MiningforZambia.com, to help ordinary people learn all about our industry, its challenges, and its contribution. As a purely educational resource, I believe this is the first industry website of its kind.
So, good progress has undoubtedly been made by all parties in the last 18 months.
However, we all need to acknowledge the further challenges that lie ahead.
We must find the collective means to overcome them, through the symmetry of industry excellence and responsive regulation, if my vision is to come to pass.
Many of those challenges – power, regulation, investment, and so on – will be aired over the next two days, and I thoroughly look forward to being part of this vigourous debate.
For, let us be clear, tomorrow’s mining industry depends on decisions taken today.
The Chamber of Mines of Zambia held its Second HSE National Conference & Exhibition, from 30th to 31st July, 2015, at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, in Lusaka, under the Theme: “ROAD TO ZERO HARM”.
The high level event attracted participation from industry, academia, regulatory bodies, government and other stakeholders.
It brought together international and local speakers who shared their expertise, experiences and in-sights through technical presentations and discussions in Occupational Health, Safety and Environment; topical issues in the mining and related industries.
While the exhibition section gave delegates an opportunity to see HSE applications and offerings currently on the market; it was just a perfect occasion for business partners to interact and mingle, with the lively networking cocktail crowing the business of Day-One.
The second and last day so delegates registered with the Engineering Institution of Zambia walking away with 3-CPD points to their credit; in a brief but epic certificate presentation ceremony which preceded the official closing of the conference.
This conference once again proved itself as an event not to miss, on the activity calendar of the mining industry in Zambia, thanks to the generous support the Chamber received from its cooperating partners and members; Mopani Copper Mines Plc came in as main sponsor, with Murray & Roberts and RedPath as co-sponsors, and other supporting sponsors. We acknowledge all our sponsors, listed here under and trust that they will continue to support future events.
Download programme here.
The Zambia Chamber of Mines successfully held its first HSE National Conferenceon 10-11 July, 2014, at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, in Lusaka. The Conference was opened by the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Hon. Christopher Yaluma, MP.
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