Increase stake in mines – economist
Lubinda Habaazoka says govt should increase stake in mines
Economist Lubinda Haabazoka has called for nationalisation of the mining firms.
Dr Haabazoka says for the country to benefit from its mineral resources, it is cardinal that government increase its stake in mining firms.
Dr Haabazoka in an exclusive interview said that, government should have 100 percent ownership of the mines for the country to develop.
He said that it is an economic blunder for the government to have little or no say in the mining sector.
Meanwhile former cabinet minister Dr Brian Mushimba says the country had just given up ownership in preference to royalties at FQM/Sentinel because royalties were predictable and consistently paid.
He said if there is a lopsided negotiation under the new dawn government, it’s this one right here.
He said Panama, where FQM built an open pit mine after Sentinel, is currently locked in negotiations similar to the ones just concluded.
“While we walked away with $50m or thereabout of consistent royalty payments, Panama is asking for the following; Royalty payments of $375m per year, up to 16% of their profits, 25% in corporate tax, Labor and environmental protection, remediation plans upon closure of mine and not less than $400m per year from the mine,” Dr Mushimba said.
Dr Habazoka said copper is one day going to diminish and the country would have nothing to show for it because it was not benefiting from the sector.
He said during the Kenneth Kaunda regime, in 1990 alone, ZCCM-IH made profit amounting to US$98 million because the mines were state owned.
He has since implored ZCCM-IH to increase the country’s stake in the mining industry.