GOVERNMENT says it is in the process of decentralising applications for mining rights and renewal of licences to help grow Zambia’s mining sector to enable it become competitive on the international market.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said application for mining rights and renewal of licences will be lodged in regional offices soon.
“This move will help market Zambia‘s mining sector and also help maintain our competitiveness on the global front,” he said.
Mr Yaluma was speaking in Kitwe when he officially opened the Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference (CBM-TEC)’ which has attracted multinational mining companies and local suppliers.
Mr Yaluma said since privatisation of the industry Government has pursued a mining policy aimed at ensuring a conducive environment to encourage private investment in the exploration of minerals.
“This is expected to result in development of a profitable and sustainable private sector-driven industry for the development of the country,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said the PF Government is more than committed to providing an enabling environment to ensure continued growth of the industry.
Government considers captains of the industry as partners in developing the sector and the country at large.
He said Government acknowledges the importance of a stable policy and regulation framework for the mining industry.
The revision of the mineral resources development policy in 2013 and ongoing review of the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008 are among some of the measures Government has undertaken to ensure the continued existence of a favourable investment climate and maximise benefits from the sector.
Government, through the geological survey department has embarked on mapping the remaining 40 percent of the country.
Electricity is a critical resource in the country’s mining industry, the coming in of new mining firms in Zambia has increased the demand for electricity.
ZESCO is undertaking a number of projects to increase power generation in the country.
On road and railway line infrastructure development, Mr Yaluma said it is vital to upgrade the networks considering that Zambia is a land-locked country.
He also called on stakeholders to supplement Government’s efforts in bettering the lives of the people through their social corporate responsibility.
And Zambia Chamber of Mines president Jackson Sikamo said the mining industry has created 90,000 jobs in Zambia.
Mr Sikamo said a lot of new developments are coming up in the mining industry through new investments by stakeholders.