By KETRA KALUNGA
A CREDIBLE equity partner who is a global player in the gold business is needed to work with Zambians in the huge gold sites, Party of National Unity (PNU) leader, Highvie Hamududu has said. Mr Hamududu said in an interview that as the party in power, PNU would engage an equity partner on a 50-50 percent joint venture to bring in capital and do full explorations works to ascertain the value of the gold mine.
He said any serious mining investor must have full explorations works done to discover the quantity and quality of the ore body which was the real asset of the mine. Mr Hamududu explained that an equity partner bringing in technology, enterprise and access to better capital, could easily be quantified to ascertain the value of the gold and this could be the game changer for Zambia.
“We will go the Botswana way, Botswana in their diamond mining they went in with an equity partner on a 50-50 joint venture and created a global economic story to a point where they became a centre of diamond trade in the world,” he said.
Mr Hamududu, who is an economist, said it was important to create a ready market for artisanal gold miners and as a party in power, PNU would do so by partnering with a key gold player. He said Zambia should create a trading platform with a key gold player for buying gold in areas where there were traces of gold so that artisanal gold miners could find a ready market.
Mr Hamududu said his government would reduce owner taxes because the taxation regime in the country was anti-investment. He said there was need to put in place an enabling taxation regime that would promote gold mining at both large and small-scale level so that the local people could participate in gold trading. “So, us in our party, we don’t practice politics of feel good, we want things that will work, has this proposal worked anywhere? Yes Where? Botswana,” he said