GRIZZLY Mining Limited and Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) have applauded the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government plans to revive the mining sector performance. Grizzly Mining lauded the new administration’s quest to increase mineral production in order to reclaim Zambia’s place as one of Africa’s leading mining countries.
In his inaugural speech, President Hakainde Hichilema has pledged that his administration will strive to promote the expansion of the mining value chain as well as encourage mineral diversification through processing of gemstones, gold, nickel, manganese, iron, industrial and other minerals.
Grizzly Mining chief executive officer Abdoul Ba said his company wished to congratulate President Hichilema’s well-deserved victory during the just ended elections. “We wish him all the best because we have seen that from the time he took over as head of state, everyone is happy and the future is promising, including ourselves. Due to Covid-19, our industry was affected alot, especially the small-scaleminers whose operations are faced with challenges,” Mr Ba said. He expressed optimism that with the current administration’s quest to put in place a conducive policy framework, the mining sector will definitely be revived given the right policy framework.
“We are hoping that the taxation will be dealt with so that small-holder miners operate with ease because right now, only the big players like Grizzly and Kagem are functional despite challenges,”he said. Meanwhile, speaking on the sidelines of Grizzly mining’s international auction of Zambia’s fine gemstones which is currently underway at Wolle Park in Kitwe’s Central Business District, company General Manager Caroline Sampa highlighted that with the new government in place, the country is headed for socio-economic growth. Ms Sampa bubbled with confidence that President Hichilema is the right leader needed to turn around the economic fortunes of the country because he is a veteran businessman in his own right. “We believe that from his business background, he will be able to put in place policies that will revamp the gemstone sector in particular to thrive, policies that will enable mine investors to invest even further as well as encourage other players to come on board,” she noted.
ZCM president Godwin Beene said the renewed focus to promote investments in the mining industry would spur economic growth. “From the views given by President Hakainde Hichilema, in both his acceptance and inaugural statement, we are very confident that the mining sector will resume its frontal role in the economic development agenda of the new administration,” Dr Beene said. He said this in a statement yesterday that the seriousness of the Government concerning the key role the mining industry would play had been reiterated in the statement on the future copper production outlook for Zambia made recently by the newly appointed Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane. He said the ZCM and its sister organization the Association of Zambia Mineral and Exploration Companies (AZMEC) make themselves available to assist the new administration in working out policies that would provide an optimal environment for mining investments. “Never in the last hundred years has there been a better time to initiate this mining project pipeline building, which is cardinal to achieving a balanced portfolio of exploration, development, operational and mature projects that will yield optimal revenue generation,” Dr Beene said.