MATHEWS KABAMBA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) says the 2015 Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference (CBM-TEC) is a good opportunity for the country to showcase investment prospects in the mining sector.
ZCM chief executive officer Maureen Dlamini said in an interview on Wednesday that CBM-TEC has come at the right time when there is a lot of debate about the mining sector in the country.
â€œThe expo will go along in correcting some of the misinformation that has been spread about the industry. It will be a good opportunity for the country to reposition as a mining powerhouse and for investors to see what is available in Zambia,â€ Ms Dlamini said.
She said CBM-TEC will create business opportunities for local small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) possible link-ups with international exhibitors.
The expo set from May 5 to 6 is expected to gather many local and international mining experts, service providers and exhibitors to discuss among other issues investment in human capital, training and skills development.
CBM-TEC will be jointly organised by Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery and Spintelligent trade exhibition and conference organiser of South Africa and United Kingdom-based African Office of Clarion Events Limited in association with Electra Mining Africa exhibition of Johannesburg.
And the Zambia Chamber of Mines, a body representing mining and allied industries in Zambia, has welcomed the decision by Cabinet to approve changes to the new mineral royalty tax regime which signifies Governmentâ€™s pledge to mining industryâ€™s concerns, reports NKOLE MULMABIA in Ndola.
In statement yesterday, CMZ communication manager Talent Ngandwe said the chamber awaits details of the proposed changes to the tax, and remains optimistic that the industryâ€™s recommendations will be considered.
â€œThis step signifies a commitment by the Government towards resolving some of the challenges the mining industry is facing in the country. Cabinet decision which follows a directive by President Lungu to the Ministers of Mines, Energy, Water [Development], and Finance is commendable.
â€œWe note that from inception, the President has been committed to fostering the sustainable operations of the mining companies, as seen through his resolve to guide the line ministries, including the Zambia Revenue Authority on the issue of value added tax Rule 18(b).This will surely help to continue contributing to job creation and poverty alleviation,â€ Mr Ngandwe said.
The chamber is also pleased that State House is making strides by practising an open door policy with the mining industry, a move that will strengthen transparency and accountability, including deepening consultation and dialogue between Government and the mining industry.
Currently, over half of Zambiaâ€™s copper production is in a loss making position following a consistent decline in international copper price.
â€œProfitability is derived from total revenue less total costs. Most of Zambiaâ€™s mines are high cost operations, significantly higher than other copper-mining provinces in the world. At the current copper price, nine out of eleven of the countryâ€™s large mines (both open cast and underground) are uneconomic,â€ he said.
The mining industry represents more than 86 percent of Zambiaâ€™s foreign direct investment.
He said the investment is critical for increased capacity and production levels in the mining industry, and is fundamental to the development of growing economies such as Zambia.
MATHEWS KABAMBA, Lusaka