GOVERNMENT has reiterated its resolve for the mining sector to run and operate a fiscal regime which is based on mutual trust.
Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Richard Musukwa said the mutual trust between Government and the mining sector should be premised on a broad-based consultation with the Chamber of Mines, which is the custodian of the mining sector.
Speaking during the Zambia Chamber of Mines second mining awards gala in Lusaka on Friday night, Mr Musukwa said Government is determined to ensure that the country’s fiscal regime is simple, transparent, reliable, stable and at all times predictable to guarantee investments.
Mr Musukwa described the Chamber as a critical partner and called for increased production by exploiting local reserves and extensively investing in the development of the mines.
He said Zambia hosts an estimated 10 percent of the world’s known copper reserves and has a wide variety of other minerals and metals that are being exploited in different parts of the country.
“The PF government is alive to the fact that these mineral resources cannot be fully exploited without collaboration between Government and the private sector. Therefore, the private sector will remain our key partners in the development of this nation,” Mr Musukwa said.
He said Government will continue ensuring that it provides a conducive environment to the growth of the mining sector.
“However, the private sector must also play its role in ensuring that mining not only generates profits for the shareholders but also benefits for the people of Zambia,” Mr Musukwa said.
He said the mining sector has not fully utilised the upstream, downstream and side stream linkages that the mining sector presents.
“I, therefore, challenge the industry to work towards integrating mining in the local economy as this will create a strong and sustainable economy for the benefit of all,” he said.
He urged the Chamber to consider awarding companies that are taking up initiatives to integrate into the local economy through capacity building, local sourcing of goods and services and greater engagement with local communities in their operations.
Meanwhile, Mopani Copper Mine was voted the mining company of the year during the occasion that saw it sweep six of the nine awards.
Apart from being crowned the best mine in 2014, the mining company was also voted best performer in environmental management, won the inter-company First AID competition, voted best employer, best performer in local content as well as in innovation.
Mopani capped the evening with its director Emmanuel Mutati scooping the President’s Award in recognition of his contribution to the mining sector.
Zambia Chamber of Mines president Jackson Sikamo described the gala as a platform for positive interaction and networking.
Story By: Benedicto Tembo