Business

‘Copper, cobalt revenue not maximised’

COPPER cathodes.

KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
DESPITE Zambia being internationally recognised as a major producer of copper and cobalt, the country has not fully maximised revenue collection from the two mineral resources due to various challenges, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has observed.
Currently, Government agencies mandated to monitor the mining sector are lacking modern equipment, staff and finance, which is affecting its operations.
ZRA commissioner Berlin Msiska said it is for this reason that Government tasked ZRA to spearhead the implementation of the Mineral Value Chain and Monitoring Project (MVCMP) to review mechanisms for monitoring and facilitating the movement of minerals within and out of the country.
In a speech read on his behalf by ZRA commissioner for customer service division Dingani Banda, Mr Msiska said currently, there is equipment and human capital deficiencies across various Government agencies that have the mandate to monitor the sector.
“Zambia is internationally recognised a major producer of copper. The country ranks second in Africa for copper and first for cobalt, not to mention significant quantities of precious metals.
“Despite this good ranking, there is low rate of revenue collection from the mining sector,” he said during the MVCMP consultative stakeholders’ workshop recently.
Mr Msiska said once fully functional, the envisaged benefits of the MVCMP system will enable Government produce consistent and harmonised statistics to be used for informed decision making, as well as simplify procedures for obtaining export and import permits.
Earlier, a World Bank Group senior financial management specialist and Governance team leader Srinivas Gurazada said Zambia is endowed with rich mineral resources that need strict monitoring for revenue administration.

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