Ex-Commerce and Trade Minister, Bob Sichinga, has alleged that Zambia’s current mining policies are misguided as they favour foreign mining investors.
Sichinga said it was naive to believe that the mining investors were coming to develop Zambia because their agenda was to mine as much minerals as possible so that they could make their profits.
He regretted in an interview with journalists on Thursday that government had been offering mineral royalty taxes to foreign mining firms of between six percent to three percent to incentivise the mines, a situation he said was a wrong policy.
“Zambia’s mining policies which are being implement by government are wrong and only meant to benefit foreign mining firms running the country’s mines.
“Mining companies in Zambia have been claiming of making losses and that government has been naive enough to offer concessions with reduced mineral royalty tax,” Sichinga said.
He said with such poor policies, achieving three million tonnes of copper production per year was a pipe dream which would never become a reality.
“I have worked in the mines for 10 years. I know what I am talking about. Neither the President [President Hakainde Hichilema] nor the Minister of Finance [Situmbeko Musokotwane] has ever worked in the mines. With all due respect. They do not understand how it works,” Sichinga said.
He also said the return of Vedanta Resources did not make sense because the mining company had claimed of having made no profits yet reports were to the effect that the owner had been boasting of having reaped massively from his investment.
Government, according to Sichinga, was aware that Vedanta was lying when it claimed to not making any profits from KCM.
He wondered why the company would want the mine back after declaring losses.
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