CAPETOWN- MONDAY, 6TH FEBRUARY 2017 – Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma has said the outlook for the mining sector was now very good, with the industry beginning to employ more workers.
He said the rising copper prices had given the sector and opportunity to rump up production and employ more workers.
Speaking after the Mining Indaba Ministers’ Conference, Yaluma, said the industry had completed a down-turn cycle and now the sector would see increased investment as copper prices continue rise.
He said 2015/16 was a challenging year for the sector and it was difficult to see President Edgar Lungu and his Cabinet approve job cuts to ensure that the sector survived.
He expressed gratitude to mine houses that didn’t lay off workers during this period.
He also said Zambia remains a good investment destination as seen by the over $2billion investment by Mopani and KCM who have pumped in more money to improve production capacities and help extend the lifespan of the mines.
Hon. Yaluma also called for mine houses to support government policy on beneficiation and value addition.
He said the critical investment required for beneficiation had already been done, with the construction of smelter and refinery plants.
He also said government was encouraging small scale miners to form cooperatives and amalgamate their licences to form large scale mining opportunities that would make a good business case and attract serious investors.
He said in the last twenty years, some holders of these licences were using them for speculative purposes.
He said for example out of 408 emerald mining licences given to the sector, only 3 mines were in operation.
The world’s largest mining and investment conference opened on Sunday 5th February 2017 in Capetown South Africa.
Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma is leading a delegation comprising technocrats and officials from ZCCM-IH and the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba confirmed that Hon. Yaluma and ZCCM-IH Chief executive Officer (CEO), Secretary to Cabinet Christopher Mvunga and Dr. Pius Kasolo were among the key speakers to the reputed mining Conference.
The Mining Indaba with its 2017 theme: “Leveraging the next wave of growth: How can you invest in African Mining to make long-term Profits?”, has attracted speakers from governments, the United Nations, private sector and civil society.
The Mining Indaba brings together investors, operators, government and the mining community to what is considered the best platform to discuss mining in Africa.
Government, Industry leaders and mining experts are among the key speakers.
Zambia’s global economist, Dambisa Moyo is also scheduled to be among the key speakers.
Anglo America CEO, Mark Cutifani, Rio-Tinto’s Bold Baatar are also among the key speakers.
The Conference will run from 6th-9th February 2017.
And Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma said that mining as one of the key sectors contributing to Zambia’s economy, needs to share lessons in mining investment, mining policy, environmental concerns and initiatives that benefit both the investor, workers and the country.
He said it was imperative that Zambia was represented at such a global gathering of the mining community to demonstrate that the country remains the best investment and mining destination. – BY HIGH COMMISSIONER MWAMBA