TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
THE Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) has called for urgent attraction of new investment to unlock exploration projects and also develop the countryâ€™s mineralisation.
However, Government has embarked on a diversification strategy to explore other minerals other than copper.
In response to a query, ZCM president Nathan Chishimba said the sector is at a defining stage and is faced with the need to stay competitive in a global industry racked by a battle of low commodity prices.
Copper price on the global market has been fluctuating, and is currently fetching US$4,700 per tonne.
â€œA situation where the leaner and meaner producers are trying to squeeze the higher cost producers out of an over-supplied market brought on by the general slowdown in the demand for base metals worldwide.
â€œThe Zambian mining industry desperately needs to attract fresh capital to unlock exploration projects and development of the countryâ€™s world-class mineralisation, which is certainly not limited to copper,â€ Mr Chishimba said.
He said as a way to advance the countryâ€™s mining sector to the next stage, â€œZambia needs a strong national consensus on the role and future of the sectorâ€™s overall development strategy in the next few years, as well as a set of smart, forward-looking policies to support the industryâ€.
Mr Chishimba, however, said mining policy in Zambia has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, largely driven by a gulf of understanding between policy makers on the one hand and industry practitioners on the other.
He also said in the run-up to the just-ended elections, significant progress was made in bridging between policy makers and Government.
â€œWe are thankful that there is now an appreciation of the need to have a practical approach to mining policy that serves the mutual interests of investors and the government.
â€œFor its part, the industry is committed to ensuring that it works hard with stakeholders and the government to ensure a better understanding of the sector. We are confident of better engagement with Government that has emerged after the election,â€ he said.
TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka