ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT and various stakeholders have started the implementation of the mineral value chain monitoring project (MVCMP) at a cost of about US$10.2 million to help monitor and facilitate the movement of minerals from exploration to exportation.
The MVCMP has been developed in collaboration with the mineral production monitoring support project (MPMSP) being funded by the European Union (EU) at a cost of â‚¬4.7 million, to enable Zambia pilot phase one of a new digital mineral production reporting module.
Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development permanent secretary Paul Chanda said the two projects have been designed in a way that enables them interact effectively in improving the governance of mining and mineral production in the country.
Speaking at a media breakfast on the MVCMP launch yesterday, Mr Chanda said in an effort to find a solution to the inadequacies that are being experienced in the mining sector, Government, through the Ministry of Finance, tasked the Zambia Revenue (ZRA) to spearhead the implementation to the project with a view of helping the country benefit more from its natural resources.
â€œThis project working closely with the ministry, other institutes and also with the mining companies, aims to ensure the availability of better information from the mining sector. This should contribute to more transparency and greater confidence that mineral resources are being governed well .Such improved information should also contribute to Zambiaâ€™s continued economic development,â€ he said.
Earlier, EU head of economic, rural development and regional cooperation section Matteo Sirtori said since March last year, EU has been assisting Government in modernising and improving its monitoring system and capacity for collecting information on mining production.
â€œEU is highly supportive of Governmentâ€™s effort to develop sustained reporting mechanism. With better information, we can indeed improve planning and revenue collection and therefore contribute positively to Zambiaâ€™s socio-economic development,â€ Mr Sirtori said.
Similarly, ZRA commissioner of customs Dingani Banda said once the framework is rolled out, it is envisaged that it will reduce the cost of compliance and doing business with Government by the mining companies.
Mr Banda said this will further reduce the cost of monitoring and regulating on the part of Government as information will be accessed from a single data base.
Mineral value project to gobble $10.2m
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka