Lusaka: Government's plans to ban the export of raw copper is expected to be highly discriminatory against the mining industry and undermine the integrity of Zambia as an investment destination, Chamber of Mines of Zambia (CMZ) and Association of Zambian Mineral Exploration Trade and Industry (AZMEC) have said. CMZ president Frederick Bantubonse and AZMEC president Gilbert Temba say the intention will be a trade restricting act especially at a time when Government is making concerted efforts to attract investment.
“We in the industry are extremely alarmed at statements suggesting that our government intends to address the challenges being faced by lack of value addition through a unilateral edict to ban the exports of copper,” they said.
The two associations said this in a joint statement in Lusaka on Friday.
They say while the mining industry fully appreciates Government’s intention of adding value to copper and share the important national aspirations to create more jobs and fight poverty, it is deeply concerned over the matter. The associations have since urged Government to resolve challenges faced by the manufacturing sector through systematic policy changes that will enable the industry to emerge as a viable and growing sector.
They cite the tax regime as one of the most onerous challenges for manufacturing in the region adding that, “No economy can legitimately claim to have value addition when its manufacturing sector faces logistical, financial and other challenges.”
They say a vibrant manufacturing sector is essential to reducing cost and the logistical problems currently faced by the mining industry on transporting numerous inputs into the country. The associations say that Zambia will continue to remain one of the world’s most important mining regions in view of the world’s largest mining houses setting up in the country.
They urged Government to consult and engage key stakeholders on how the mining sector can best contribute to the overall development of Zambia.