Minerals Act Revision Will Benefit Zambia – Musukwa

GOVERNMENT says the revision of the Mines and Minerals Development Act is aimed at streamlining the monitoring and regulation of the mining sector to ensure more benefits from the industry for the country.

Mines, Energy and Water Development Deputy Minister Richard Musukwa said the revision of the Act is also intended to bring the policy in line with international best practices so that Zambia can continue to be a preferred destination for investment.

“Significant progress has been made in revising the Mines and Minerals Development Act Number 7 of 2008 that draws on the vision 2030 which provides the blueprint for achieving accelerated growth aimed at raising the standards of the people of Zambia,” he said.

Mr Musukwa said this in Ndola yesterday during the official opening of the 3rd Zambia Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) at Fatmols Lodge.

The four-day ZAMI 2014 indaba is being held under the theme “Our Minerals, Our Future, putting local communities first”.

Mr Musukwa said the amendment of such regulations had among other things enabled Government to monitor mining companies’ compliance with the requirement to give preference to Zambian products and services.

“This will promote employment of Zambians to the maximum extent possible and allow local businesses to flourish,” he said.

He said the same also requires mining rights holders to give preference to Zambians in employment and thereby increase the benefits for local people from mining.

Mr Musukwa reiterated that Government would run the mining industry through the private sector and would not nationalise any mine.

“Stakeholders have aised us to repossess Konkola Copper Mines but the Government policy remains to run a private sector led mining industry, with investors adhering to the tax regime,” he said.

The 3rd ZAMI has attracted participation from several countries including South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Speaking at the same occasion, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia executive director Pukuta Mwanza said Zambia continues to be duped of its mineral wealth by foreign investors who reap colossal profits without remitting appropriate dividends to the Government.

Solwezi Catholic Diocese Bishop, Charles Kasonde bemoaned the lack of commitment by foreign investors to own up to their pledges of extending corporate social responsibility programmes to communities surrounding mining companies’ operations.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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