Zambian mining requires new investment

by Trust Matsilele 0

A recently released report on Zambia mining urged the government to consider certain key recommendations to improve the mining sector.

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) was established in 2001 to act as a catalyst for performance improvement in the mining and metals industry.

In its recently launched report, Partnerships for Development – Zambia country case study, says key areas in the economy such as mining’s macro-economic contribution, employment, local development and social investment require responsiveness.

“There is a real challenge with regards to the issue of quality of production. A lot of money is also being spent by mines on social investments but results are mixed partly because there is no sufficient interaction among stakeholders, to identify who actually needs assistance” Aiden Davy deputy president and senior program director told CNBC Africa.

ICMM’s finding comes against the background of planned electricity tariffs that could adversely affect the industry’s effectiveness.

“The increased electricity charges may have an impact on the competitiveness of the industry. The mining sector is one of the [critical sectors] in the Zambian economy,” he added.

Commencing last November, the ICMM conducted the study and stakeholder workshops with the assistance of Oxford Policy Management to try and understand the contribution of mining to local and national economy.

The report also noted that the mining sector could be enhanced by stronger collaboration between companies, government, local communities, civil society and development agencies – particularly at the local level.

ICMM observed that investment in new technology will vital in the sector going forward.

New investment in mining from 2000 is estimated to have been around 10 billion United States dollars.

The mining dependent economy recently consolidated its total export and foreign exchange earnings. At 80 per cent, this level of export dependence is now the highest of all the world’s mining economies alongside Botswana.