By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT is focused on providing the necessary leadership, structures and policies that will see the mining sector thrive. The need for transparency in the sector is critical in ensuring that the correct information is relayed to stakeholders and for the country to benefit from the sector, says Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Paul Kabuswe.
Mr Kabuswe observed that all Government needed to do was to organise and provide leadership, transparency and integrity. The minister said this recently when he toured Kagem’s Lufwanyama site. “The gemstone industry in Zambia has a future and I am excited about that. I am so excited about Kagem because government has a share in it.
Our focus as government is to have organised mining all over; be it in the copper, manganese or gemstone industry. “All we need to do is to organise and provide leadership, transparency, integrity and government and the people will get what is due to us. From the path that especially Kagem Mining has shown us, I think we are going in a positive direction and Zambians are going to benefit from these mines,” Kabuswe said.
The Kagem emerald mine is 75 percent owned by London-listed Gemfields, in partnership with Government through the Industrial Development Corporation, which owns 25 percent. Kagem Chairman, Sixtus Mulenga, said the mine had shown resilience and was expected to announce a profit for 2021 as well as declaring dividends later in the year. Dr Mulenga commended Government on its positive stance on investment in the country.
“The New Dawn government is the most business-friendly government we have had in a long time in Zambia. They have declared a tax regime which is predictable and investorfriendly, and we are delighted as investors to work with such a government,” he said. Kagem has a projected life of mine of 25 years and is the largest contributor of taxes to government in the gemstone sector, having pioneered a new level of transparency across its auction and sales process. This system allows government officials to oversee the entire sales process and observe the full sales value being repatriated to Zambia, ensuring that all due taxes are paid in full.