The Zambia Chamber of Mines is overjoyed by the mining industry’s strong profile as one of the key sectors slated to fuel our economy’s growth under the incoming administration. We are extremely sure that the mining industry would resume its frontal position in the new administration’s economic growth strategy, based on His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema’s views expressed in both his acceptance and inaugural statements.
The seriousness of the new government concerning the key role the Mining Industry will play has been reiterated in the statement on the future Copper Production outlook for Zambia made recently by the newly appointed Minister of Finance, Hon Situmbeko Musokotwane.
Chamber of Mines President,Dr. Godwin Beene said, Zambia’s geological endowment and its stature as a beacon of stable political democracy founded on strong adherence to justice and the rule of law give the Mining Sector every chance to meet the ambitious medium-term growth targets the new administration has set out.
To get to the two-million-tonne medium-term goal, the lion’s share of growth in copper reserves will come from investments in the development of the existing and proven ore reserves of the old Copperbelt, and igniting activities (exploration and mining) in the non-traditional mining areas across the country. The Zambia Chamber of Mines 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 will provide an optimal environment to see the attainment of this objective.
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, and more importantly, participation of Zambians in mining projects. The combination of a greening of power generation, the growth in Electric Vehicle sales and in their attendant charging infrastructure assures this demand growth to continue in the medium to long term. The recognition of this fact by the incoming administration is bold and commendable.
The industry is keen to as soon as possible, actualise the close partnership with government that will be needed to deliver these results above and beyond the initial US$2.5billion in expansions already committed to.
The Chamber of Mines is confident that Mineral explorers will be attracted to invest and bring forward to maturity pipeline projects that have up to now been on ice due to constraints brought about by successive unattractive fiscal regimes primarily predicated on an increasingly desperate “cash grab” mentality that ignored the long-term nature of mining, and that existing operators will release the capital for development and production projects.
The key factor in igniting this pipeline of expansion and exploration driven growth is the expedited implementation of a stable mining policy and tax regime that will make the cost of capital affordable and secure the confidences of global markets, foreign and local investors.