Business

Zambia ‘Switzerland of mining’ – Arc Minerals

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka

ARC Minerals will continue investing into exploration projects owned by its subsidiary, Zamsort Limited in North-Western Province, because Zambia is becoming the ‘Switzerland of mining’ due to effective legal framework and an independent judiciary. The London Stock Exchange listed Arc Minerals chairman Nick von Schirnding, also described as inaccurate allegations that appointment of Zambian businessman Valentine Chitalu to the company’s board of directors is because of his close ties to President Hichilema. Mr von Schirnding reaffirmed the company’s commitment to investing significantly in its operations in Zambia, whose investments currently exceed US$20 million. “Recent discussions with potential third-party investors had been encouraging and would mean much more capital flowing into our Zambian operations. “I describe Zambia as the Switzerland of mining when you look at the mining legal framework, the independent judiciary and a Government that places governance very high on its priorities. It’s a great country with a great future and we are privileged to operate here,” von Schirnding said in a statement yesterday. He said the company takes its obligations as an investor very seriously wherever it operates in the world. “We have a strong board of directors in London, including two well-respected Zambian businessmen, Caleb Mulenga and Valentine Chitalu. We are big proponents of devolving management of the business to our local management, be it in Zambia or Botswana. “In Zambia we have a number of local subsidiaries which are very well run and have their own board of directors and who ensure we operate efficiently and in line with all requisite local regulations and laws,” he said. Recent media reports alleged that Mr Chitalu, who is a close associate of President Hichilema, had been appointed as director as a result of the recent outcome of Zambia’s elections. But Mr von Schirnding described the allegations as inaccurate. “The board, in line with UK listing rules, agreed to Valentine’s appointment well before the recent elections. We do understand these press reports as they relate to matters of a disgruntled former local shareholder trying to cause trouble. “The fact is that prior to Arc’s investment in Zambia, no significant investment in exploration had been made in the Zamsort tenements, that all changed with Arc which, together with its local Zambian partners, invested over US$20m,” he said. CLICK TO READ MORE



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