The Zambia Chamber of Mines ( ZCM ) has welcomed government’s pronouncements in the mining sector which were unveiled by Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane when he presented the 2023 National Budget to Parliament yesterday.
Zambia Chamber of Mines President, Godwin Beene says Dr. Musokotwane’s sentiments on how the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has overtaken Zambia in the area of production over the last decade is a sign that improving production to new heights is top of the agenda.
During his Budget presentation on Friday, the Finance Minister also expressed worry that Zambia’s production has stagnated at around 800 thousand metric tonnes of which Democratic Republic of Congo has surpassed Zambia.
The Chamber of Mines president added that Government showing determination to maintaining policy and tax consistency will improve production.
“We believe this is a budget for growth. The Minister himself has been pushing for 3 million tonnes for Zambia. He has attended to artisanal and small scale miners needs in Zambia.
“ He has attended to the need for the mining industry to produce. There is a lot to do but we believe we are on the right track,” Dr Beene said.
And Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Paul Kabuswe says formalization of artisanal and small scale mining is in line with the Mining Policy which will be launched soon.
Mr Kabuswe disclosed that the policy is complete awaiting cabinet approval stressing that small scale and artisanal mining is a critical component of the ministry.
“You heard that resources have been allocated to make sure that Zambian who have access to licenses can be given equipment Resources have been allocated to the procurement of equipment that should support the artisanals and small scale miners.
“ For me this a very exciting budget because it has gone ahead even before we introducer the mining policy which will also trigger us to look at the Mines and Mineral Act to amend certain clauses,” Mr Kabuswe said.
During the presentation of K 167.3 billion worth National Budget, Dr Musokotwane made various pronouncements which include restructuring the mineral royalty regime with respect to copper.
The tax will now apply on the incremental value in each adjusted price band as opposed to the aggregate value when the price crosses the respective price threshold.
The Minister also announced formalization of small scale and artisanal mining.
The Finance Minister pledged that to ensure competitiveness with neighbouring D.R Congo in copper production government will restore mineral production by maintaining policy and tax consistency among other measures.