Nar­row­ing Trust deficit be­tween min­ing stake­hold­ers - Yaluma at Ind­aba

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

LACK of in­ter­ac­tion be­tween stake­holder has caused per­cep­tion is­sues be­tween the com­mu­ni­ties, gov­ern­ment and the mines, Mines Min­is­ter Honourable Christo­pher Yaluma said...........

LACK of in­ter­ac­tion be­tween stake­holder has caused per­cep­tion is­sues be­tween the com­mu­ni­ties, gov­ern­ment and the mines, Mines Min­is­ter Honourable Christo­pher Yaluma said on 06 Fe­bru­ary at the on­go­ing Min­ing ind­aba in Cape Town. Dur­ing a high level de­bate dubbed ‘how the trust deficit be­tween gov­ern­ment, in­dus­try and com­mu­ni­ties can be closed,’ the Min­is­ter echoed that Zam­bia has been min­ing for over 100 years and noth­ing can be writ­ten home about in terms of wealth share with in­vestors. The gov­ern­ment is get­ting its share through taxes while the in­vestors are earn­ing pro­ceeds but it is hard to nar­row down on what the com­mu­nity and peo­ple en­joyed all this time from these in­vest­ments, he said. Ac­cord­ing to Zam­bian com­mu­ni­ties, not much ben­e­fit has trick­led to them which the Min­is­ter con­quered with.

Lack of in­for­ma­tion trans­parency

Honourable Yaluma high­lighted lack of in­for­ma­tion shar­ing and de­scend­ing in­for­ma­tion to the com­mu­ni­ties by in­vestors in ad­di­tion to gov­ern­ment not be­ing avail­able to let peo­ple know what is go­ing on ex­actly has been the big­gest hur­dle. The Min­is­ter ad­mit­ted to hav­ing failed as gov­ern­ment to iden­tify which poli­cies are in place for the mines cover­ing what it gets into with the mines to trickle down to the com­mu­ni­ties and as such gov­ern­ment is seek­ing an in­te­grated so­lu­tion to cut across all stake­hold­ers.

The mines have been known for mak­ing wind­fall earn­ings and chan­nelling prof­its over­seas at the ex­pense of up­lift­ing the stan­dards of the lo­cals. The Min­is­ter made ref­er­ence to Kabwe a town in cen­tral Zam­bia where in­vestors ex­hausted Zinc and Lead de­posits and to­day the min­ing town is grap­pling with lead con­tam­i­na­tion be­cause the min­ing in­vestors did not bother to take the req­ui­site clean ups the Min­is­ter men­tioned.

So­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity with­out com­mu­nity in­put

He lauded the min­ing in­vest­ment ini­tia­tives of build­ing schools and sink­ing bore holes but be­moaned the lack of in­put in­volve­ment into these projects which the min­is­ter chal­lenged the min­ing house to do. He said the right poli­cies are re­quired to gov­ern this anom­aly lest com­mu­ni­ties think gov­ern­ment is con­niv­ing with in­vestors at their ex­pense. The need for all stake­hold­ers – mines, gov­ern­ment and com­mu­ni­ties can­not be overem­pha­sized. Zam­bia will in the next decade or so grow min­ing pro­duc­tion to over 2mil­lion met­ric tons but mis­trust could ham­per this achieve­ment which needs to be ad­dressed.

The Min­is­ter also be­moaned the poverty lev­els that Zam­bian min­ing com­mu­ni­ties were lan­guish­ing in de­spite hav­ing been in the min­ing busi­ness for decades.

No power con­straints enough in­vest­ment in power gen­er­a­tion

The min­is­ter mar­keted Zam­bia by as­sur­ing in­vestors that the coun­try was not fac­ing any en­ergy chal­lenges be­cause the gov­ern­ment has done its home­work. Zam­bia and Zim­babwe are set to build a 6,000MW hy­dro Ba­toka power plant, are adding 750MW to the grid through the Ka­fue lower by 2021 and have the Mu­lun­gushi and Kalung­wishi projects in ad­di­tion to the 300MW com­mis­sioned coal fired with an­other 300MW com­ing soon as phase two of the Maamba pro­ject. Power will soon be­come cheap with the in­tro­duc­tion of the cost re­flec­tive tar­iffs.

Favourable min­ing poli­cies and frame­works

The cur­rent min­ing pol­icy for 2013 seeks to ori­ent the min­ing sec­tor for sus­tain­abil­ity to ben­e­fit in­vestors and the peo­ple through in­creased pri­vate in­vest­ment and par­tic­i­pa­tion by lo­cals which to date is still low. It also seeks to in­crease em­ploy­ment in the min­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. The Min­is­ter boasted of an im­proved le­gal frame­work pro­vided by the Mines Devel­op­ment Act which has in­creased the ex­plo­ration lat­i­tude to 200, 000 hectares for 10yr li­censes from 7yr 100,000 hectare li­censes.

“I was touched neg­a­tively by a com­ment by an el­derly states man Hon. Oluse­gun Obasanjo on sta­bil­ity in Zam­bia. With all due re­spect I would like to re­fute claims about in­sta­bil­ity in Zam­bia. You can in­vest a dime in Zam­bia, go to sleep and not wake up to a coup. I wish to re­it­er­ate that Zam­bia is a favourable min­ing des­ti­na­tion with in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties not only in min­ing. I can at­test that you will sleep com­fort­ably and your in­vest­ments will mul­ti­ply. Come to Zam­bia and help us shape our econ­omy and we will in turn pro­tect your in­vest­ment.” Mines Min­is­ter Christo­pher Yaluma

Zam­bia’s Mines and Min­er­als Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter – Christo­pher Yaluma at the Min­ing Ind­aba in Cape Town

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